Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

03/15/2018 03:15 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
03:18:52 PM Start
03:20:05 PM HB400
03:52:54 PM HB71
04:20:30 PM HB352
04:48:42 PM Presentation: Indirect Expenditures – Wwami
05:17:33 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 352 VOTER REGISTRATION & PFD APP REGISTRATION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Indirect Expenditure Hearing TELECONFERENCED
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 71 NO ST. EMPLOYEE PAY INCREASE FOR 2 YRS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 400 FEES FOR FIRE PREVENTION MEASURES TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 400 Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 15, 2018                                                                                         
                           3:18 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Chair                                                                                   
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Vice Chair                                                                                     
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
Representative Chris Birch                                                                                                      
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
Representative Gary Knopp                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Andy Josephson (alternate)                                                                                       
Representative Chuck Kopp (alternate)                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 400                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the collection of fees by the Department of                                                                 
Public Safety for fire and explosion prevention and safety                                                                      
services."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 400 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 71                                                                                                               
"An  Act  relating  to compensation,  merit  increases,  and  pay                                                               
increments for certain public  officials, officers, and employees                                                               
not covered  by collective  bargaining agreements;  and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 352                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to voter registration; and providing for an                                                                    
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION: INDIRECT EXPENDITURE HEARING                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 400                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: FEES FOR FIRE PREVENTION MEASURES                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): STATE AFFAIRS                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
02/28/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/28/18       (H)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
03/01/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/01/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/01/18       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/08/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/08/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/08/18       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/13/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/13/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/13/18       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/15/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 71                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: NO ST. EMPLOYEE PAY INCREASE FOR 2 YRS                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/20/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/20/17       (H)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
01/31/17       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
01/31/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/31/17       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/08/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/08/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/08/18       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/15/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 352                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: VOTER REGISTRATION & PFD APP REGISTRATION                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/16/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/16/18       (H)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
03/15/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DAVID TYLER, State Fire Marshal; Director                                                                                       
Division of Fire and Life Safety (DFLS)                                                                                         
Department of Public Safety (DPS)                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented Amendment 3 on behalf of House                                                                 
State Affairs Standing Committee, sponsor of HB 400.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LESLIE RIDLE, Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Administration (DOA)                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the discussion of                                                              
HB 71.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
KATE SHEEHAN, Director                                                                                                          
Division of Personnel & Labor Relations                                                                                         
Department of Administration (DOA)                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the discussion of                                                              
HB 71.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JOSIE BAHNKE, Director                                                                                                          
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Division of Elections                                                                                                           
Office of the Lieutenant Governor                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 352 on behalf of the House                                                                  
Rules Committee, sponsor, by request of the governor.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
LIBBY BAKALAR, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                       
Labor and State Affairs Section                                                                                                 
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the discussion of                                                              
HB 352.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CAROL A. THOMPSON, Absentee & Petition Manager                                                                                  
Absentee & Petition Office                                                                                                      
Division of Elections                                                                                                           
Office of the Lieutenant Governor                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the discussion of                                                              
HB 352.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JANE SHELBY, MD; Director                                                                                                       
Alaska WWAMI School of Medical Education                                                                                        
University of Alaska Anchorage                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Testified  on  behalf  of  University  of                                                             
Washington,  School of  Medicine  during a  discussion about  the                                                               
WWAMI program.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:18:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS  called  the  House State  Affairs                                                             
Standing   Committee    meeting   to    order   at    3:18   p.m.                                                               
Representatives  Kreiss-Tomkins  Knopp,   Wool,  and  Birch  were                                                               
present at the call to  order.  Representatives LeDoux, Tuck, and                                                               
Johnson arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
            HB 400-FEES FOR FIRE PREVENTION MEASURES                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:20:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the first  order of business                                                               
would be HOUSE  BILL NO. 400, "An Act relating  to the collection                                                               
of  fees  by  the  Department  of  Public  Safety  for  fire  and                                                               
explosion prevention and safety services."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[Due  to  their  length,  some amendments  discussed  or  adopted                                                               
during the  meeting are  found at  the end of  the minutes  of HB                                                               
400.]                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:20:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  stated  members  should  have  a  proposed                                                               
amendment to HB 400 in their  packets [referred to as Amendment 3                                                               
and  labeled 30-LS1490\A.3,  Bannister,  3/7/18].   He  explained                                                               
that Amendment  3 would  include changes  that were  discussed in                                                               
committee on  [March 13, 2018].   He  asked Mr. David  Tyler, the                                                               
State Fire  Marshal, to discuss  the changes made in  Amendment 3                                                               
to  HB 400  and  to  provide his  division's  perspective on  the                                                               
proposed amendment.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:20:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID TYLER, State  Fire Marshal; Director, Division  of Fire and                                                               
Life Safety (DFLS), Department of  Public Safety (DPS), explained                                                               
that  at the  last  hearing  [on March  13,  2018] the  committee                                                               
removed  the  language in  proposed  Amendment  3 that  indicated                                                               
[fines] for  violations could be  compounded daily.   The revised                                                               
Amendment  3  [A.3] states  that  the  violation will  remain  in                                                               
effect until  the fine  has been paid  or the  situation [causing                                                               
the citation] has been remedied.   The division has the option to                                                               
reissue a citation if the  person receiving the citation paid the                                                               
bail but  did not  fix the  problem.  He  noted that  Amendment 3                                                               
[D.3] streamlined the  process to make the  citation basically "a                                                               
fix-it" ticket.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:22:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  recalled when  the bill was  first proposed,                                                               
Mr. Tyler had mentioned the only  "teeth" the division had was to                                                               
issue a misdemeanor, which the  division had not previously done.                                                               
He further  recalled that  the current  process the  division has                                                               
been using has  been to list violations in hopes  that the person                                                               
or company would fix  what was wrong, but if they  did not do so,                                                               
the only option  the division had was to issue  a misdemeanor and                                                               
the party  would have  a criminal  record.   The idea  of issuing                                                               
citations for fines up to $500  has been under consideration.  He                                                               
related  his  understanding  that the  division  thought  issuing                                                               
citations would not be used  quite often.  This current iteration                                                               
would allow people 30 days to  fix the problem.  He asked whether                                                               
citations being issued  would increase since people  have 30 days                                                               
to fix it or how the division's procedures might change.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TYLER answered  that the  procedures  would not  drastically                                                               
change.   Currently, the  division does  not use  the misdemeanor                                                               
process because  the district attorney would  not prosecute them,                                                               
since they  are too busy  with other  things.  He  explained that                                                               
the division's options  were to issue an order  to correct, which                                                               
basically asks  the party to  please fix  the problem.   The next                                                               
realistic  option would  be to  close  the building,  which is  a                                                               
measure of  last resort and  not productive.   He said  he agrees                                                               
that warnings  should continue to  be issued.  He  was interested                                                               
in seeing  how this would work  because it was possible  to put a                                                               
court date in  for those residing in a remote  area, for example,                                                               
if he  knew it would take  two months to have  a sprinkler system                                                               
installed, he  could set a  court date two  months out.   In that                                                               
way, the business would not be held  to a time line that it could                                                               
not possibly meet.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:24:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  acknowledged  that issue  had  arisen,  for                                                               
example if  someone's ANSUL system needed  servicing or something                                                               
as  simple  as  a  restaurant  hood cleaning  might  be  hard  to                                                               
schedule  during  a particularly  busy  time  of  the year.    He                                                               
offered his belief  that someone with an  automatic auto handheld                                                               
device could  be uploaded  daily and after  30 days  an automatic                                                               
warning  would be  sent  out.   In instances  in  which the  Fire                                                               
Marshal gave  an extended  date for  remedy, he  wondered whether                                                               
people would  get hung up in  the fine system.   He recalled that                                                               
the Alaska  Court System  said that  uploads and  warning letters                                                               
happened automatically.  He recalled  someone might pay a parking                                                               
ticket but two years later it was  still in the system.  He asked                                                               
for  further  clarification  on the  hand-held  devices  and  the                                                               
process for  automatic letters.   He recalled  previous testimony                                                               
that these devices were not yet in use.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL wondered  if  the hand-held  devises were  a                                                               
"new work in progress."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. TYLER agreed it was a "work  in progress."  He was unsure how                                                               
the court would  issue its warnings if he wrote  a court date for                                                               
60-90 days after the citation.   He said the bill requires him to                                                               
give a minimum of a 35-day-notice for  a court date and he has 10                                                               
days to file it.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:26:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX stated  that HB 400 started out  as a means                                                               
to  collect more  fees; however,  it has  now morphed  into major                                                               
discussion as  to whether  the offenses  should be  violations or                                                               
misdemeanors.    She  recalled  on   the  House  floor  that  the                                                               
legislature passed a  bill related to load limits  and changed it                                                               
from   violations   to   criminal    conduct   to   account   for                                                               
responsibility.   She  wondered why  this needed  to be  changed.                                                               
She  recalled the  Fire Marshal  did  not charge  someone with  a                                                               
misdemeanor, so she  was unsure why he did not  use the authority                                                               
to do so.  She expressed  concern that the Fire Marshal might not                                                               
charge  someone [and  a fire  could  occur] and  cause injury  or                                                               
death.  She was unsure why this  would go from a misdemeanor to a                                                               
violation.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:28:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TYLER responded  that a  misdemeanor charge  would not  be a                                                               
high priority  for the attorney  general.  The  proposed citation                                                               
and  fine under  Amendment  3  to HB  400  would  provide a  more                                                               
useable tool.   If the parties  fix the fire safety  issues, they                                                               
would not need to pay any  fine and the division obtains its goal                                                               
of fire safety compliance.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS stated  that  part of  the  bill retains  a                                                               
violation for certain outcomes.   If someone gets seriously hurt,                                                               
it  would be  a  misdemeanor.   He  asked  in  an instance  where                                                               
someone was  killed due to the  fire resulting from a  dirty vent                                                               
hood, whether existing statutes cover the crime.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. TYLER  answered that  if someone  was killed  the responsible                                                               
person  could   be  charged  for  negligence   or  other  offense                                                               
determined by the attorney general.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   related  that  another  bill   [HB  259]                                                               
discussed on the House floor  today related to specifying a crime                                                               
for unsecured loads for truck.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  responded that  was not  his understanding.                                                               
He  recalled  testifiers  before the  [House  Transportation  and                                                               
Judiciary]  committees.   One  person  was  nearly killed  in  an                                                               
accident  resulting  from  unsecured debris  flying  through  her                                                               
windshield, but  the police could  not charge the driver  with an                                                               
unsecured load with a crime.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:32:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP said he was  correct, that under the current                                                               
statute  the  law  only  applied to  commercial  operators.    He                                                               
offered his  belief that the  legislature, in its actions  on the                                                               
House floor, extended some of  the penalties to private operators                                                               
and defined  "gross negligence."     He agreed  this was  not the                                                               
only  bill  before  the  legislature   that  sought  to  decrease                                                               
misdemeanor penalties  to citations.   This would make  it easier                                                               
to collect and this bill was a trend for this administration.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:33:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  acknowledged that  at times the  House Labor                                                               
and Commerce  committee found misdemeanor penalties  were onerous                                                               
and were reduced  to citations to obtain compliance.   The threat                                                               
of penalty  was lighter and  might be  used more often,  he said.                                                               
He expressed  concern was that  this approach might result  in an                                                               
overabundance of citations.   He was unsure  of the consequences,                                                               
but time would tell.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   KREISS-TOMKINS,   referring  to   Representative   Wool's                                                               
scenario of  a fire resulting from  a dirty hood in  a restaurant                                                               
that  might get  a "fix-it"  ticket from  the fire  marshal.   He                                                               
researched  the  law  applicable  to  "fix-it"  tickets:  [Alaska                                                               
Statutes] AS  18.70.010-100.   He was  trying to  get a  sense of                                                               
whether a  dirty hood would fall  within the scope of  a "fix-it"                                                               
ticket.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. TYLER stated that the  division's performance measures strive                                                               
for  30 percent  with  no  discrepancies.   He  offered that  the                                                               
division reached  12 percent  in 2016 and  25 percent  last year.                                                               
He was having  trouble hearing the question and asked  to have it                                                               
restated.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:35:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS restated the question.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. TYLER answered  yes; that could be a citation.   He mentioned                                                               
potential violations that could  result in citations, including a                                                               
sprinkler  or  fire  alarm  system   not  in  compliance,  excess                                                               
hardware  not  functioning,  box   corridor,  exit  lighting,  or                                                               
expired fire extinguishers.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:36:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP asked whether  the division charged any fees                                                               
for inspecting systems.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. TYLER answered no.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  said  an  acquaintance built  a  new  real                                                               
estate  company and  complained about  the fees  to have  heating                                                               
ventilation or fire  suppression checked.  He was  unsure of what                                                               
was inspected  or the  agency or  private company  that performed                                                               
the  work.   He related  his understanding  that this  bill would                                                               
give  the  department some  receipt  authority  and allow  it  to                                                               
establish  fees for  inspections and  permitting.   He asked  for                                                               
further clarification on if a draft fee schedule exists                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. TYLER  responded that  the fiscal note  [analysis on  page 2,                                                               
Department of Public Safety, Fire  and Life Safety fees] provides                                                               
a potential method for developing  fees.  He stated one challenge                                                               
was  to develop  uniform fees  even though  inspection times  may                                                               
vary, depending  on who conducted  the inspection.   He cautioned                                                               
that charging  a flat rate might  not be the best  approach since                                                               
small  businesses could  be assessed  a  larger proportional  fee                                                               
than  larger  operations  and  he  described  an  example  (audio                                                               
difficulties).                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:38:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP noted the audio difficulties.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:39:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  asked for  committee  comments.   He  said                                                               
unless there  were further  questions, it was  his intent  to put                                                               
Amendment 3  forward and  he was fine  with the  committee either                                                               
accepting it, not accepting it, or holding it.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:39:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL said  he thought  the  language was  getting                                                               
better  and he  liked proposed  Amendment 3.   As  Representative                                                               
LeDoux mentioned it  started off as "fee for  inspection" but has                                                               
morphed  to a  whole citation  and fee  system.   He acknowledged                                                               
that this  approach was  also new to  the Fire  Marshal's office.                                                               
He  recalled a  previous  testifier from  the  court system,  Ms.                                                               
Mead,  said the  police  currently have  a  hand-held system  for                                                               
issuing motor  vehicle citations.   This  was different  since it                                                               
deals with  building inspections.   He did not  necessarily think                                                               
he would  like to  lump citations for  the fire  inspections into                                                               
the system  with police speeding  tickets and that type  of "fast                                                               
tracking."  He was unsure that  he would oppose a system of fines                                                               
for violations,  and although he  had some  hesitation [Amendment                                                               
3]  was  an   improvement  over  the  previous   version  of  the                                                               
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:41:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX said she was  not convinced.  She preferred                                                               
the original version of the bill.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:41:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP said he was  not likely to support the bill.                                                               
He  did not  support generating  revenue through  fees, which  he                                                               
thought was bad  public policy.  He said the  businesses were not                                                               
asking  for these  inspections.   He acknowledged  that the  Fire                                                               
Marshal has  always mandated inspections.   He recalled  [HB 114]                                                               
relating  to  boiler  inspection,  that  independent  contractors                                                               
would inspect  and certify the  system, perform any  repairs, and                                                               
the owner  pays the fee  and files  the paperwork.   He preferred                                                               
the boiler inspection model for paying fees for inspections.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:43:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL, as a small  business owner, related that all                                                               
the  fees  are  increasing,  including   fees  for  business  and                                                               
professional licenses,  fire marshal inspections, and  on and on.                                                               
He  expressed  concern  because  the  state  fire  marshal  could                                                               
threaten to  shut someone down  without having to go  through the                                                               
district attorney's office.   Perhaps fees could  be assessed for                                                               
new  construction.   He was  unsure and  said that  obviously the                                                               
committee was still wrestling with this.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:44:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  said he  would not  move to  adopt proposed                                                               
Amendment  3  since  the  committee  did  not  support  it.    He                                                               
suggested  the  state  fire  marshal could  work  with  the  next                                                               
committee of referral [the House  Finance Committee] to adopt the                                                               
amendment, which would be fine.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  brought members back  to HB 400,  which had                                                               
not been  amended since  the committee  only entertained  an idea                                                               
with proposed Amendment  3.  He asked for  additional comments on                                                               
HB 400.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:45:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX said  she did  not have  any problem  with                                                               
bill as  written.  She  liked the  idea and people  receiving the                                                               
services  will pay  for them.    She acknowledged  Representative                                                               
Knopp's  suggestion on  private enterprise  competing to  provide                                                               
the services.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:46:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  offered her belief that  government's job                                                               
was  to provide  fire safety  and  address fire  and life  safety                                                               
issues.   She  expressed concern  that  imposing a  fee for  fire                                                               
inspections might  cause businesses to put  off fire inspections.                                                               
She recalled  the Department of Environmental  Conservation (DEC)                                                               
has  dispensed  with  fees  or   reimbursement  costs  for  spill                                                               
cleanup.   Providing  fire  inspections to  the  public was  more                                                               
important than  waiving the  spill cleanup fees,  she said.   She                                                               
related she  has a commercial  building and she has  a tremendous                                                               
respect for the fire marshal's  office and she does everything in                                                               
her  power to  be  certain  there are  no  fire  hazards and  she                                                               
requests annual inspections.   She was unsure  that all companies                                                               
were as diligent and adding fees would make it more difficult.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:47:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  commented that  he  has  worked with  fire                                                               
inspectors,  especially in  rural  Alaska and  they  always do  a                                                               
tremendous  job.     He  was  familiar  with   plan  reviews  and                                                               
assessment for  fees.  He would  like to give the  bill a chance,                                                               
given  the importance  of good  fire safety  and inspection.   He                                                               
recalled that for plan reviews  when design professionals such as                                                               
architects  and engineers  are  hired to  design  a building  the                                                               
expectation is that  the design will be to code.   He offered his                                                               
belief  that the  review process  for public  facilities benefits                                                               
from  a   review  capability  that  the   fire  marshal's  office                                                               
provides.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:49:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL disagreed  with Representative  Johnson that                                                               
some  businesses would  opt  not to  have  inspections since  the                                                               
inspections are  not optional,  and that  businesses are  given a                                                               
specific timeframe to remedy any fixes.   He remarked that if the                                                               
state was  not going to  have an income  tax, it was  choosing to                                                               
charge fees to businesses for services instead.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:50:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP related  that fresh  water inspections  for                                                               
businesses  were done  by private  contractor instead  of through                                                               
DEC.  He  acknowledged that mandatory annual  inspections were in                                                               
place.  He remarked it was  difficult to pay fees to have someone                                                               
write the business a citation.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:51:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  REPRESENTATIVE moved to report  HB 400 out                                                               
of   committee   with    individual   recommendations   and   the                                                               
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP objected.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:52:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A  roll  call vote  was  taken.   Representatives  Wool,  LeDoux,                                                               
Birch, and Kreiss-Tomkins voted in favor  of moving HB 400 out of                                                               
committee.   Representatives Johnson and Knopp  voted against it.                                                               
Therefore, HB  400 was  reported out of  the House  State Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee by a vote of 4-2.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
The  following amendments  to  HB 400  were  either discussed  or                                                               
adopted during the hearing:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Amendment 4 [30-LS1490\A.3, Bannister, 3/7/18]:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 2, following "services;":                                                                                   
          Insert  "and relating  to penalties  for violating                                                                  
     fire protection and safety requirements and orders"                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
     Page 1, following line 9:                                                                                                  
          Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                     
        "* Sec. 2. AS 18.70.100(a) is amended to read:                                                                      
          (a)    A  [EXCEPT  AS  PROVIDED  IN  (c)  OF  THIS                                                                
     SECTION,  A]   person  who  violates  a   provision  of                                                                    
     AS 18.70.010 - 18.70.100 or  a regulation adopted under                                                                    
     those sections,  or who fails  to comply with  an order                                                                    
     issued under  AS 18.70.010 - 18.70.100, is  guilty of a                                                                    
     violation  and   shall  be  punished  as   provided  in                                                                
     AS 12.55  by a  fine of  not more  than $500.  Each day                                                                
     [CLASS  B MISDEMEANOR.  WHEN  NOT OTHERWISE  SPECIFIED,                                                                    
     EACH  10  DAYS]  that the  violation  or  noncompliance                                                                    
     continues is a separate offense.                                                                                           
        *  Sec. 3.  AS 18.70.100  is amended  by adding  new                                                                  
     subsections to read:                                                                                                       
          (d)    A  peace  officer or  an  employee  of  the                                                                    
     department  who is  authorized by  the commissioner  of                                                                    
     public  safety  to enforce  this  chapter  may issue  a                                                                    
     citation   to  a   person  who   commits  a   violation                                                                    
     identified under this section.                                                                                             
          (e)   A  citation issued  under this  section must                                                                    
     comply with the standards  adopted under AS 12.25.175 -                                                                    
     12.25.230.  A  person  receiving the  citation  is  not                                                                    
     required to sign a promise to appear in court.                                                                             
          (f)   The time specified  in the notice  to appear                                                                    
     on  a citation  issued under  this section  must be  at                                                                    
     least  five  working days  after  the  issuance of  the                                                                    
     citation.                                                                                                                  
          (g)     The  commissioner  of  public   safety  is                                                                    
     responsible  for  the   issuance  of  books  containing                                                                    
     appropriate citations  and shall  maintain a  record of                                                                    
     each book and each citation  contained in the book. The                                                                    
     commissioner of public safety  shall require and retain                                                                    
     a receipt  for each book  issued to an employee  of the                                                                    
     department  designated by  the  commissioner of  public                                                                    
     safety  to provide  investigative  services to  enforce                                                                    
     provisions of this chapter.                                                                                                
          (h)   On  or  before the  10th  working day  after                                                                    
     issuance of a citation, a  peace officer or an employee                                                                    
     issuing  a citation  under this  section shall  deposit                                                                    
     the original  or a  copy of the  citation with  a court                                                                    
     having jurisdiction over the  alleged offense. Upon the                                                                    
     deposit of  the citation  with the court,  the citation                                                                    
     may be disposed of only by  trial in the court or other                                                                    
     official  action taken  by  the  magistrate, judge,  or                                                                    
     prosecutor. The  peace officer  or employee  who issued                                                                    
     the citation may not dispose  of the original or copies                                                                    
     of the  citation or  of the record  of the  issuance of                                                                    
     the citation  except as required under  this subsection                                                                    
     and (i) of this section.                                                                                                   
          (i)  The commissioner of public safety shall                                                                          
     require the  return of a  copy of each  citation issued                                                                    
     under this section  and of the copies  of each citation                                                                    
     that has  been spoiled  or on which  an entry  has been                                                                    
     made  and  not  issued  to  an  alleged  violator.  The                                                                    
     commissioner of  public safety  shall also  maintain in                                                                    
     connection with  each citation issued  a record  of the                                                                    
     disposition of  the charge  by the  court in  which the                                                                    
     original or copy of the citation was deposited.                                                                            
          (j)  A citation issued under this section is                                                                          
     considered to be a lawful  complaint for the purpose of                                                                    
     prosecution.                                                                                                               
          (k)  Unless the citation has been voided or                                                                           
     otherwise  dismissed  by   the  magistrate,  judge,  or                                                                    
     prosecutor,  or  bail  has been  forfeited  under  this                                                                    
     section,  a person  who  fails to  appear  in court  to                                                                    
     answer   a   citation   issued  under   this   section,                                                                    
     regardless of  the disposition of the  charge for which                                                                    
     the citation was  issued, is guilty of  failure to obey                                                                    
     a citation under AS 12.25.230(b).                                                                                          
          (l)  The supreme court shall establish a schedule                                                                     
     of  bail amounts.  The maximum  bail forfeiture  amount                                                                    
     for  a  violation  may  not  exceed  the  maximum  fine                                                                    
     specified   under  (a)   of  this   section  for   that                                                                    
     violation. The issuing peace  officer or employee shall                                                                    
     write  on the  citation the  amount of  bail forfeiture                                                                    
     applicable to the violation.                                                                                               
          (m)  If a person cited for a violation for which                                                                      
     a  bail forfeiture  amount has  been established  under                                                                    
     (l) of this section does  not contest the citation, the                                                                    
     person  may,  within 30  days  after  the date  of  the                                                                    
     citation, mail  or personally deliver  to the  clerk of                                                                    
     the court in  which the citation is filed  by the peace                                                                    
     officer or employee                                                                                                        
               (1)  the amount of bail indicated on the                                                                         
     citation for that offense; and                                                                                             
               (2)  a copy of the citation indicating that                                                                      
     the  right to  an appearance  is waived,  a plea  of no                                                                    
     contest is entered, and the bail is forfeited.                                                                             
          (n)  When the cited person has forfeited bail                                                                         
     under  (m) of  this section,  the court  shall enter  a                                                                    
     judgment  of  conviction.  Forfeiture   of  bail  is  a                                                                    
     complete satisfaction  for the violation. The  clerk of                                                                    
     the court  accepting the bail forfeiture  shall provide                                                                    
     the  offender  with  a receipt  stating  that  fact  if                                                                    
     requested.                                                                                                                 
          (o)  A person cited under this section is guilty                                                                      
     of failure to obey  a citation under AS 12.25.230(b) if                                                                    
     the  person fails  to pay  the bail  amount established                                                                    
     under (l) of  this section or fails to  appear in court                                                                    
     as required.                                                                                                               
          (p)  Notwithstanding other provisions of law, if                                                                      
     a  person  cited  for  a violation  for  which  a  bail                                                                    
     forfeiture  amount has  been established  under (l)  of                                                                    
     this section appears in court  and is found guilty, the                                                                    
     court  may  not  impose  a  penalty  that  exceeds  the                                                                    
     forfeiture amount for  that violation established under                                                                    
     (l) of this section.                                                                                                       
          (q)  In this section, "department" means the                                                                          
     Department of Public Safety."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill section accordingly.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, following line 13:                                                                                                 
          Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                    
        "* Sec. 5. AS 18.70.100(c) is repealed."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
          HB 71-NO ST. EMPLOYEE PAY INCREASE FOR 2 YRS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:52:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that  the next order  of business                                                               
would be  HOUSE BILL  NO. 71, "An  Act relating  to compensation,                                                               
merit   increases,  and   pay  increments   for  certain   public                                                               
officials,  officers, and  employees  not  covered by  collective                                                               
bargaining agreements; and providing for an effective date."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[Before the committee was Version O.]                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:53:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS opened public testimony on HB 71.  After                                                                   
first determining no one wished to testify, Chair Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                
closed public testimony on HB 71.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:54:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  echoed his comments from  the prior hearing                                                               
on  HB 71,  noting he  was disappointed  to see  the wage  freeze                                                               
component  removed from  the bill.    He recalled  that when  the                                                               
provision  was placed  in  the  bill and  a  floor amendment  was                                                               
subsequently pulled.   He assumed that since the  language was no                                                               
longer in  the bill  that a floor  amendment could  be considered                                                               
during operating budget deliberations.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:54:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:55:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP asked  for clarification  on what  the bill                                                               
does.   He did not  have any issue  with the pay  dates proposed;                                                               
however, he was unsure of the goal of the bill.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:56:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS related his  understanding that currently if                                                               
a  governor wanted  to donate  a portion  of his/her  salary, the                                                               
governor  would receive  the salary  and  be taxed  for the  full                                                               
amount.  This  bill would give the governor an  option to waive a                                                               
portion of the salary and not be taxed for the entire salary.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP asked  whether  the  legislature wanted  to                                                               
limit the option to one individual  or should it extend to anyone                                                               
who would like that option.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS stated  that there  was some  discussion at                                                               
the  last  committee hearing  [on  3/8/18]  to potentially  allow                                                               
commissioners to do so.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  offered his  belief that  doing so  for one                                                               
individual would set a bad precedent.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:58:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LESLIE RIDLE,  Commissioner, Department of  Administration (DOA),                                                               
stated  that  the  bill  could  be  extended  to  the  lieutenant                                                               
governor,  the commissioners  and  legislators but  not to  other                                                               
state employees.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:58:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATE SHEEHAN, Director, Division  of Personnel & Labor Relations,                                                               
Department of  Administration (DOA), stated that  because certain                                                               
salaries  were  set through  legislation  or  the State  Officers                                                               
Compensation   Commission  (SOCC)   there   would   need  to   be                                                               
legislation to waive  a portion of the salary in  order not to be                                                               
taxed on it.  That was not  the same for other employees, so this                                                               
would  be limited  to the  positions that  the commissioner  just                                                               
read.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:59:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX stated  that the  committee was  currently                                                               
considering HB 71, so the bill could include everyone.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  RIDLE answered  that  job classes  she just  listed                                                               
were  set by  the SOCC  and included  commissioners, legislators,                                                               
governor  and lieutenant  governor.   She reported  that everyone                                                               
else's salaries are  set via collective bargaining  and the State                                                               
Personnel  Act;  therefore, they  are  in  a different  class  of                                                               
employees.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  said  she  did  not  understand  why  all                                                               
employees cannot donate their salary back.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHEEHAN  responded that  under the  Fair Labor  Standards Act                                                               
the  employer  must  pay  for all  hours  worked;  even  salaried                                                               
employees  are subject  to some  requirements; therefore,  it was                                                               
not an option for some employees to donate their time.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  for  further  clarification that  a                                                               
federal law restricts the donation.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:01:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL suggested  that  if the  governor wanted  to                                                               
donate to a nonprofit that he  would need to accept the money and                                                               
donate it  and obtain a  tax credit.   This bill would  allow the                                                               
governor  to  reduce  his/her  salary  without  incurring  a  tax                                                               
penalty.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE  answered yes.  She  related her understanding                                                               
that  the state  is not  a charity  in terms  of tax  deductions,                                                               
noting she  was not  a tax  attorney.   She acknowledged  that it                                                               
would be foregoing a salary and just not receiving it at all.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked why  it was  not written  to include                                                               
all the people it could include.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE  answered that Governor Walker  was interested                                                               
in doing so.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  acknowledged that he could  legally donate                                                               
the salary, but for the tax issue.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE answered yes.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:03:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH offered  his belief that the  bill was about                                                               
avoiding federal  income tax on salary.   If one were  to decline                                                               
the salary  the person could not  redirect it.  He  recalled that                                                               
he had  seen newscasts that  indicated Governor Walker  wanted to                                                               
redirect the salary to police dogs  and a myriad of other things.                                                               
He  related  his understanding  that  this  bill allows  for  tax                                                               
avoidance.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE,  with respect  to redirecting  the governor's                                                               
salary,  advised that  the funds  would  not be  remitted to  the                                                               
governor but  would remain in the  general fund.  He  stated that                                                               
Governor Walker  wanted to be able  to reduce his income  and not                                                               
pay tax  on something he did  not receive, which would  not be an                                                               
avoidance of tax.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:04:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  suggested that currently, as  a legislator,                                                               
if he  wanted to  donate his  salary to the  state, he  would pay                                                               
taxes  on  his $50,000  salary.    He  expressed an  interest  in                                                               
opening it up for legislators to waive their salaries.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE answered yes.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:05:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH offered  his belief that it was  bad form to                                                               
do "one-offs"  on legislation.   He  suggested that  people could                                                               
write a check to a charitable organization.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:05:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  said  her   problem  was  that  [Governor                                                               
Walker's]  donation  last  year   was  highly  publicized.    She                                                               
suggested that passing  this would be like "having  your cake and                                                               
eating it,  too."   She suggested that  most people  who declined                                                               
their  salaries  would not  be  able  to  direct it  to  specific                                                               
[programs] and the declined salaries  would remain in the general                                                               
fund.   She surmised  the governor would  have more  authority to                                                               
redirect the funds.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:07:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON stated  that the  governor could  set his                                                               
own salary as long as it fell below a certain threshold.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE answered yes, that  the governor could waive a                                                               
portion of his/her salary.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  asked whether the salary  could be waived                                                               
by month or must it be for a year.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE  referred to page 1,  line 7, of HB  71, which                                                               
read, "  ... governor may waiver  a portion of the  annual salary                                                               
...."                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:08:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON   confirmed  the  governor   would  waive                                                               
his/her salary at the beginning of the year or fiscal year.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  RIDLE  responded  that  logistically  it  would  be                                                               
figured  out  and  accomplished  through  payroll.    In  further                                                               
response,  she  agreed it  would  likely  be administered  as  an                                                               
annual request and waiver.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON related her  understanding that the bill's                                                               
goal  would be  to  waive a  portion  of the  income  and not  to                                                               
redirect the salary to a specific program.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE  answered yes;  that the  salary would  not be                                                               
received by the governor and would remain in the general fund.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:10:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  related his  understanding that  there would                                                               
be a cap, so that the governor would determine his/her salary.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  RIDLE  answered  yes;  the  bill  would  allow  the                                                               
governor to waive but not increase his/her salary.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:10:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  asked  for  further  clarification  on  the                                                               
mechanics of the waiver and if  the governor could choose to stop                                                               
the waiver.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE  answered that she assumed  the administration                                                               
would initiate  it at beginning of  year.  She surmised  it would                                                               
be harder  but not impossible  for different  scenarios; however,                                                               
the department has  not considered the mechanics yet.   She added                                                               
that the administration preferred continuity in its processes.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:11:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  referred to the explanation  of changes and                                                               
time period and it appeared to  sunset on June 30, 2019 and asked                                                               
for further clarification.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHEEHAN answered  that that the original bill was  for a two-                                                               
year period consistent  with the two-year pay freeze.   Version O                                                               
removed the section  that limited it to the two-year  period.  In                                                               
further  response, she  stated that  the  explanation of  changes                                                               
attempted to explain that the bill could extend past 2019.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  asked  for further  clarification  on  the                                                               
Section 3  of HB 71 and  the reason for the  two-week rather than                                                               
biweekly salary.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHEEHAN  answered that a  semi-monthly pay period  payroll is                                                               
on the  first or fifteenth of  each month and the  hours vary for                                                               
each pay  period.  A  biweekly pay  was more consistent  since it                                                               
contains 75  hours for each pay  period, spans two work  weeks so                                                               
it  was clearer.   Some  employees fall  within semi-monthly  and                                                               
others in biweekly.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:14:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  asked  for further  clarification  on  the                                                               
organization that  sets the governor's  salary.  He  suggested it                                                               
might be  helpful to  hear from that  organization.   He remarked                                                               
that  the  24 versus  26  weeks  for semi-monthly  or  bi-monthly                                                               
seemed fine.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  RIDLE pointed  out that  this bill  was brought  up                                                               
last  year,  that  the  State  Officers  Compensation  Commission                                                               
(SOCC) met last fall but did not comment on bill.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:15:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK referred  to Section 2 of  the explanation of                                                               
changes for  HB 71, which  read as follows  [original punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section   2:  New   section.   Removes  language   that                                                                  
     temporary salary  schedules do  not affect  salaries of                                                                    
     employees in  a bargaining unit represented  by a labor                                                                    
     union   established   under   the   Public   Employment                                                                    
     Relations Act  and adds  the term  "pay period"  to the                                                                    
     title.  Language  that  was removed  is  now  found  in                                                                    
     section 3 of the bill.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  referred to deleted language  was in Section                                                               
2  of  HB  71,  which  read,  "[SALARY  RATES  ESTABLISHED  UNDER                                                               
AUTHORITY  OF  THEIS  SECTION  DO  NOT  AFFECT  THE  SALARIES  OF                                                               
EMPLOYEES  PROVIDED  FOR  BY A  COLLECTIVE  BARGAINING  AGREEMENT                                                               
...."  He offered his belief  that the deleted language should be                                                               
left in the bill.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHEEHAN answered that the language  was still in the bill but                                                               
was   under   Section  3   in   proposed   [Alaska  Statute]   AS                                                               
39.27.012(c), which Section 2 would  also amend.  She related her                                                               
understanding that  the Legislative  Legal and  Research Services                                                               
attorney used this  bill as the vehicle to move  to the bi-weekly                                                               
pay schedule,  so they rearranged the  bill.  The intent  was not                                                               
to change the provisions in AS 39.27.012.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:17:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON asked  for further  clarification on  the                                                               
non-union  exempt  employees and  wage  freeze.   She  asked  for                                                               
further  clarification  on  the  exempt employees  who  would  be                                                               
affected by the pay freeze.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE, after confirming  the question, answered that                                                               
the original  bill would have  affected anyone not in  the union,                                                               
including  the   executive  branch,  the  legislature,   and  the                                                               
university.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:18:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  related her  understanding that  this was                                                               
the language  Representative Birch  wanted included in  the bill,                                                               
but it was removed in Version O.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE offered her belief that was correct.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:19:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked for  further clarification on how the                                                               
federal government accomplishes salary waivers for presidents.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER RIDLE was unsure but  offered to research it for the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS announced that HB 71 would be held over.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
        HB 352-VOTER REGISTRATION & PFD APP REGISTRATION                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:20:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that  the next order  of business                                                               
would  be  HOUSE  BILL  NO.   352,  "An  Act  relating  to  voter                                                               
registration; and providing for an effective date."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:20:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOSIE BAHNKE,  Director, Central  Office, Division  of Elections,                                                               
Office of the  Lieutenant Governor, on behalf of  the House Rules                                                               
Committee  by  request  of the  governor,  paraphrased  from  her                                                               
written testimony,  which read  as follows  [original punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Today I  am here to testify  on House Bill 352,  a bill                                                                    
     which harmonizes the  interaction between the Permanent                                                                    
     Fund Dividend  Division and  the Division  of Elections                                                                    
     in  relation to  the automated  voter registration  law                                                                    
     passed by  ballot initiative in  2016. This  bill makes                                                                    
     the  necessary  legal  changes to  enhance  efficiency,                                                                    
     reduce  state expenditures  and  improve the  citizens'                                                                    
     experience   registering   or  updating   their   voter                                                                    
     registrations   via  their   permanent  fund   dividend                                                                    
     application. These functions  are achieved by providing                                                                    
     the  division the  ability to  leverage existing  tools                                                                    
     and procedures already in  use for processing automatic                                                                    
     voter  registration between  the Division  of Elections                                                                    
     and  the  Division  of Motor  Vehicles.  Mr.  Chairman,                                                                    
     leveraging  these tools  and  processes  will save  the                                                                    
     state  more than  two  hundred  thousand dollars  every                                                                    
     year  while   maintaining  the  legal  intent   of  the                                                                    
     original initiative.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:22:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAHNKE continued to paraphrase her written testimony, which                                                                 
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     In 2016,  Alaska voters passed Ballot  Measure #1 which                                                                    
     stipulated   that    information   provided    on   PFD                                                                    
     applications  will  be  used to  register  to  vote  or                                                                    
     update  the  applicants   existing  voter  registration                                                                    
     unless the applicant "opts  out" of voter registration.                                                                    
     The ballot measure became law  effective March 1, 2017.                                                                    
     In the inaugural year of  implementation, the "opt out                                                                     
     provision in  Ballot Measure  #1 required  the Division                                                                    
     of  Elections to  send  a  notice by  mail  to the  PFD                                                                    
     applicants, giving  them an  opportunity to  "opt out".                                                                    
     If the  applicant didn't  "opt out"  within 30  days of                                                                    
     receiving the  notice, the PFD  application information                                                                    
     was   used  to   register   or   update  the   existing                                                                    
     registration record.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:23:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAHNKE continued to paraphrase her written testimony, which                                                                 
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The administration is 100% supportive  of the intent of                                                                    
     Ballot   Measure  #1   and  allowing   voters  to   use                                                                    
     information  on their  PFD application  to register  or                                                                    
     update their existing voter  registration.  In addition                                                                    
     to helping register  Alaskan voters, the administration                                                                    
     also supports  other goals of the  ballot measure which                                                                    
     was to  enhance accuracy of  voter rolls, and  save the                                                                    
     state money.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:23:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAHNKE continued to paraphrase her written testimony, which                                                                 
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     HB 352 was  introduced to make the  PFD automatic voter                                                                    
     registration  to be  fully-automated, more  streamlined                                                                    
     and   cost-efficient   by   allowing   applicants   the                                                                    
     opportunity to  "opt-out" of voter registration  at the                                                                    
     time they  apply for their  PFD online or with  a paper                                                                    
     application.  Adoption  of  HB   352  would  allow  the                                                                    
     Division of  Elections to more effectively  manage this                                                                    
     new  program   by  eliminating  the  cost   of  sending                                                                    
     expensive mailings  every year, remove the  30 day opt-                                                                    
     out  period and  allow voters  to become  registered or                                                                    
     update registrations more timely  and reduce staff time                                                                    
     spent on registration activities.  Since 2015 and prior                                                                    
     to voter approval of  PFD Automatic Voter Registration,                                                                    
     the DOE has made  several technological advancements to                                                                    
     improve  access,  efficiency,  and  accuracy  of  voter                                                                    
     registration rolls:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:24:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAHNKE continued to paraphrase her written testimony, which                                                                 
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     First of all,  the DOE has fully  implemented an online                                                                    
     voter  registration (OLVR)  process making  registering                                                                    
     to  vote or  updating  an  existing voter  registration                                                                    
     easy  and efficient.   When  the PFD  AVR petition  was                                                                    
     being circulated,  OLVR was not  yet available.   Since                                                                    
     being implemented,  49,000+ voters  have used  the OLVR                                                                    
     system  to either  register  or  update their  existing                                                                    
     voter registration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The Division of Elections  has also fully automated the                                                                    
     process  of  receiving voter  registration  information                                                                    
     electronically  from  the  Division of  Motor  Vehicles                                                                    
     when Alaskans update their driver's  license.  When the                                                                    
     PFD  AVR   petition  was  being  circulated,   the  DMV                                                                    
     registration    process   was    not   automated    and                                                                    
     registrations were  sent to DOE on  paper applications.                                                                    
     Since  implementation,   63,000+  voters   have  either                                                                    
     registered  or had  their  existing voter  registration                                                                    
     updated through DMV electronic process.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAHNKE continued to paraphrase her written testimony, which                                                                 
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     If  HB   352  is  adopted,  the   PFD  Automatic  Voter                                                                    
     Registration  process   will  closely  mimic   how  the                                                                    
     Division of Elections presently  receives and handles a                                                                    
     majority   of  voter   registrations,  would   save  an                                                                    
     estimated  $200,000  annually  in  mailing  costs,  and                                                                    
     provide  for a  mechanism by  which voter  registration                                                                    
     transactions performed  by the DOE are  fully automated                                                                    
     and  reduce paper  transactions. Should  HB 352  become                                                                    
     law,  PFD  applicants  will  have  the  opportunity  to                                                                    
     decline  to  register  to  vote   or  to  update  their                                                                    
     registration  at  the  time  of  completing  their  PFD                                                                    
     application.     This  change   will  provide   a  more                                                                    
     efficient  and user-friendly  mechanism  for voters  to                                                                    
     decide to  "opt-out' by eliminating the  opt-out notice                                                                    
     to reduce  paper transaction and save  costs in mailing                                                                    
     the opt-out notice to eligible applicants.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:26:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP related  his understanding  that this  bill                                                               
would  accomplish  what  was  envisioned   with  same  day  voter                                                               
registration   and   the   automatic  voter   registration   bill                                                               
previously passed.   He surmised  that when people would  file an                                                               
application  for  the  permanent  fund dividend  (PFD)  that  the                                                               
applicant would "push  a button" if he/she wanted  to register to                                                               
vote.   He  was  surprised  to find  out  that  an applicant  was                                                               
automatically registered to vote unless  the person declined.  He                                                               
asked for  further clarification on  whether the button  would be                                                               
available to applicants during the PFD application process.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAHNKE responded if HB 352  were to pass, that during the PFD                                                               
online application process  an individual could opt  out of voter                                                               
registration or  to change to his/her  voter registration record.                                                               
The applicant would not  receive a mailer to ask to  opt out.  In                                                               
further  response,  she  confirmed  that "the  button"  would  be                                                               
available online to allow people to opt out.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:28:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  offered his belief  that it was a  good idea                                                               
to have a  button on the PFD application  for voter registration.                                                               
He expressed  concern that the  initiative would require  an "opt                                                               
out"  form   be  mailed  to   PFD  applicants.    He   asked  for                                                               
clarification   on    the   limitations    prohibiting   altering                                                               
initiatives and whether  those restrictions were for  one or two-                                                               
year period after passage of an initiative.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS related  his  understanding that  technical                                                               
changes  could  be  made  to   initiatives  but  not  substantive                                                               
changes.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:29:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIBBY  BAKALAR,  Assistant  Attorney  General,  Labor  and  State                                                               
Affairs Section, Department of Law,  explained the two-year rule,                                                               
which  she  said  restricts the  legislature  from  repealing  an                                                               
initiative; however, a  legislature may amend an  initiative.  At                                                               
what   point   an   amendment  constitutes   a   repeal   was   a                                                               
constitutional question;  however, the types of  amendments being                                                               
proposed in this bill  do not rise to the level  of a repeal, she                                                               
said.   She  reiterated  that these  amendments were  appropriate                                                               
ones to be made within the two-year time limit.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:30:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAHNKE,  in response to  Representative Tuck,  responded that                                                               
she  read  her  testimony  into  the  record,  but  she  had  not                                                               
specifically  read  the  language  for  the  initiative.    Under                                                               
current law,  as passed  by voters, the  division is  required to                                                               
send a  mailer to existing  voters with updates to  their address                                                               
or name and allowed them a  30-day window to return the mailer to                                                               
opt out;  otherwise, the division  would update  the information,                                                               
she said.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:31:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BAHNKE paraphrased  the sectional  analysis,  which read  as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                   HB 352 Sectional Analysis                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section   1:   Establishes   the   voter   registration                                                                    
     requirements that  an applicant  must provide  in their                                                                    
     PFD application to register to vote.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section  2:  Establishes  that the  DOE  will  use  the                                                                    
     application   information    provided   on    the   PFD                                                                    
     application to register eligible  applicants to vote or                                                                    
     update  their  voter  registration   if  they  did  not                                                                    
     decline  voter registration  when completing  their PFD                                                                    
     application.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section  3:  Establishes  that  the  DOE  will  process                                                                    
     eligible voter registration  applications received from                                                                    
     the  PFD   and  send   voters  notification   of  their                                                                    
     registration  status  (voter registration  card).  This                                                                    
     section also  removes the requirement  to send  a paper                                                                    
     opt-out notice to voters who  are targeted as new voter                                                                    
     registrations or updated registrations.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section 4:  Removes the  requirement for  the applicant                                                                    
     to respond to the opt-out notice within 30-days.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Section 5: Establishing that PFD will only submit data                                                                     
       for applicants that did not decline to register to                                                                       
     vote.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
      Section 6: Establishes that changes made in this law                                                                      
       will be effective for PFD applications starting on                                                                       
     January 1, 2019.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:32:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   related  that  she  completed   her  PFD                                                               
application online.   She  did not  recall anything  that allowed                                                               
anyone to opt out of [voter registration].                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAHNKE  answered that  this year's  2018 application  did not                                                               
have a  box to check,  but rather at  the end when  the applicant                                                               
signed  the  application,  an   attestation  certified  that  the                                                               
information was  correct and advising  that it would be  used for                                                               
purposes of voter registration.   She explained that this was the                                                               
first year  that the  law was  being fully  implemented; however,                                                               
should  HB  352  become  law  it   would  be  added  to  the  PFD                                                               
application process.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:33:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   LEDOUX  related   her  understanding   that  the                                                               
initiative allowed  people to opt  out of the  voter registration                                                               
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BAHNKE  answered  that was  correct;  however,  current  law                                                               
requires the Division  of Elections to send a mailer  to each PFD                                                               
applicant identified  as a new  applicant or one who  had updated                                                               
his/her information asking the applicant  if he/she would like to                                                               
opt out.   In further  response, she  agreed that was  the reason                                                               
the division was trying to create efficiencies with HB 352.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:34:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked   whether  the  voter  registration                                                               
initiative  did not  provide for  any  opt out  provision on  the                                                               
application form.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAHNKE answered no.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:34:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  asked what Section 1  would accomplish since                                                               
it  asked  an  applicant  to comply  "...  with  the  information                                                               
required  under (a)(1)  -  (4)  and (7)  -  (9)  of this  section                                                               
included, ...." and he was unsure.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAHNKE answered  that the language citation in  "(a)(1) - (4)                                                               
and (7) -  (9) of this section" referred to  the requirements for                                                               
voter registration.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:35:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS passed the gavel to Vice Chair LeDoux.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:35:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  referred to  Section 1 and  15.07.060(e) and                                                               
read, "Section 1. AS 15.07.060(e) is  amended to read: (e) For an                                                               
applicant requesting  initial registration by mail,  by facsimile                                                               
or other  electronic transmission approved by  the director under                                                               
AS 15.07.050, ...."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK asked  whether  this  was clean-up  language                                                               
since he did  not see anything about the  permanent fund dividend                                                               
application nor did he see it in AS 15.07.060.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BAHNKE  referred  to  page 1,  line  6,  which  specifically                                                               
referenced  the permanent  fund dividend  application.   She said                                                               
this  bill would  also clean  up language  to harmonize  language                                                               
between  Title  15 and  Title  43.    She  said that  this  would                                                               
essentially make requirements for  voter registration the same as                                                               
for PFD applicants.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:37:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON related  her understanding  that $360,000                                                               
was in the initiative but was not funded.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BAHNKE  agreed   that  the  division  did   not  receive  an                                                               
appropriation to implement the ballot initiative.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:37:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  asked  whether the  division  would  use                                                               
capital   funds   during  the   transition.      She  asked   for                                                               
clarification  on  whether  this  would  save  the  state  money,                                                               
resulting in a negative fiscal note for the bill.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAHNKE  responded that the  division used operating  funds to                                                               
sustain  the automatic  voter registration  project.   She stated                                                               
that  if HB  352 were  to pass,  the division  would not  need to                                                               
request additional funds  for the next fiscal year.   She offered                                                               
her belief that the long-term  cost savings would be $200,000 per                                                               
year.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:39:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL related  his  understanding  that next  year                                                               
applicants could click  "a box" if they wanted to  opt out of the                                                               
voter registration process.  He  related that if an applicant did                                                               
not have  any changes to  their address,  they would not  need an                                                               
update and could  opt out of the process.   He asked whether this                                                               
bill would eliminate mailouts and postage altogether.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BAHNKE responded  that if  HB 352  became law,  the division                                                               
anticipated it would have a minimal mailing.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:40:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAROL  A.  THOMPSON,  Absentee &  Petition  Manager,  Absentee  &                                                               
Petition Office, Division of Elections,  Office of the Lieutenant                                                               
Governor,   replied  that   the   division  anticipated   minimal                                                               
notifications  that would  go  with  paper applications  although                                                               
those were often data entered prior  to [mailing].  She said that                                                               
part of the paper application with  the PFD would include a check                                                               
box to opt out.  She  reiterated that the division would not have                                                               
many mailouts, if any.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR LEDOUX returned the gavel to Chair Kreiss-Tomkins.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:40:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL hoped  people  would not  be  confused.   He                                                               
asked  how the  process  would  work for  someone  who wanted  to                                                               
change his/her  [political] affiliation but not  his/her address.                                                               
He wondered if  there would be additional boxes  the person could                                                               
check.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. THOMPSON  answered if  the person  chose not  to opt  out and                                                               
they had no  changes to his/her voter  registration nothing would                                                               
happen.  In  terms of political affiliation,  the PFD application                                                               
does not require it, so  the person's political affiliation would                                                               
remain the same.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:41:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  related  his understanding  that  he  could                                                               
register to vote via PFD; however,  if he wanted to register with                                                               
an affiliation that he would  need to accomplish that through the                                                               
Division of Elections.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. THOMPSON answered yes.  She  explained that if a person was a                                                               
new voter  registrant, the  person's political  affiliation would                                                               
appear  as  undeclared  until the  person  informs  the  division                                                               
otherwise.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:42:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  said if someone  wanted to register  to vote                                                               
via the PFD  application process and the person  does not contact                                                               
the Division  of Elections,  he/she will  be a  registered voter,                                                               
without any  political affiliation  and will  be undeclared.   He                                                               
surmised there would  be an increase in new voters  with a "U" or                                                               
undeclared status.   Most people probably would  figure their job                                                               
was  done once  they  clicked  the box.    He  asked whether  the                                                               
division had considered that aspect.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. THOMPSON responded that the  division selected undeclared [U]                                                               
because  it would  allow the  voter the  most opportunity  in the                                                               
primary  election to  select the  ballot  option.   She said  the                                                               
division  believes   that  will  give  the   voters  the  biggest                                                               
advantage and the division waits for the voter to contact them.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  said that the voter  registration form would                                                               
have a party affiliation option.   He characterized the PFD voter                                                               
process as  "voter registration  light" since  it omits  a fairly                                                               
strong identification for voter  registration.  Some people would                                                               
think it was somewhat important.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:43:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAHNKE answered that this  bill, HB 352, as currently written                                                               
would give  the Division  of Elections  (DOE) and  Permanent Fund                                                               
Dividend  Division   the  authority   to  adopt   regulations  to                                                               
establish  an opt-out  process.   The DOE  has begun  discussions                                                               
with the PFD  Division to determine the best process  for an opt-                                                               
out process.   She  related that  HB 352  was a  harmonizing bill                                                               
following the initiative passage, but  it also creates an opt-out                                                               
process during the PFD application  process to save state funding                                                               
in mailings.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:44:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL said if someone  moves to Alaska and uses the                                                               
PFD  as  a  first-time  voter,  the  person  would  one  have  an                                                               
opportunity to select a party  affiliation.  He commented that it                                                               
would not be a "full option" to register to vote.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. THOMPSON acknowledged that political  affiliation was not one                                                               
of options  through PFD  voter registration  application process.                                                               
She said the  PFD and voter registration were  very similar, with                                                               
the exception of the political affiliation.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:46:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH asked  for the  total number  of registered                                                               
voters and  how many new voters  were added since March  when the                                                               
initiative passed.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  THOMPSON   answered  that   currently  531,335   voters  are                                                               
registered  in Alaska  and as  of March  27 an  additional 15,589                                                               
voters were  gained.   She reported  an additional  11,108 voters                                                               
updated their residence address or name.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:47:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  confirmed  about 15,000  additional  voter                                                               
registrations happened as a result of the program.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. THOMPSON said that was correct.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:47:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  why not  add the  party affiliation                                                               
because it seemed like it would be simple to do so.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAHNKE  answered that  she has not  had that  discussion with                                                               
the PFD Division.   She offered to  do so and report  back to the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS announced that HB 352 would be held over.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
^Presentation: Indirect Expenditures  WWAMI                                                                                     
           Presentation: Indirect Expenditure Hearing                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:48:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS stated  that  the  committee would  discuss                                                               
"Indirect  Expenditures."   He stated  that Representative  Birch                                                               
had requested WWAMI staff be present.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:49:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH said  his  initial program  related to  the                                                               
WWAMI Regional  Medical Education  Program (WWAMI)  program since                                                               
some concern  has been  voiced that  some Alaskan  WWAMI students                                                               
may  not be  returning to  the state  to practice  medicine.   He                                                               
asked how many Alaskan students have applied for the program.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:50:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANE  SHELBY,  MD;  Director,  Alaska  WWAMI  School  of  Medical                                                               
Education, University of Alaska  Anchorage, stated that while she                                                               
was an employee  of the University of Alaska, she  is speaking on                                                               
behalf  of  the  University  of  Washington  School  of  Medicine                                                               
(UWSOM) to explain  their role in the clinical  training phase of                                                               
the program and to answer any questions the committee may have.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS said the audio  system in the room was poor.                                                               
He asked whether she would repeat her testimony.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:50:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. SHELBY repeated her testimony.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:51:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked how many  students have applied to the                                                               
program  and   how  many  positions  were   reserved  for  Alaska                                                               
students.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:51:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  SHELBY answered  that typically  65-95 WWAMI  students apply                                                               
each year for 20 seats, but the  program has had a decline of 8.5                                                               
percent,  which  she found  that  worrisome.   She  wondered  the                                                               
reason why  Alaska students were  choosing other  medical schools                                                               
instead of the WWAMI program.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH   related  his  understanding   that  65-95                                                               
students apply each  year for 20 seats, that the  program has had                                                               
a decline of 8.5 percent.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:52:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH related  his  understanding  that half  the                                                               
curriculum was conducted in Alaska  and half at the University of                                                               
Washington (UW).  He asked for the ranking of the UW Medicine.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DR. SHELBY  answered that it  was ranked  10th in the  nation for                                                               
medical schools.   It has  been ranked  number one in  the nation                                                               
for primary care for several decades.   It was in the top ten for                                                               
research schools.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:53:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  asked  how   Alaska  would  recreate  this                                                               
opportunity without  the WWAMI program.   He asked what  it would                                                               
involve for Alaska to create its own medical school.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR. SHELBY  said it would  involve a lot  of money.   She related                                                               
that  she  has  compiled  some information  on  two  new  medical                                                               
schools  being launched:   Washington  State University  and [the                                                               
University of Nevada Las Vegas with a $100 million investment.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:55:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  referred  to additional  fees  [charged  to                                                               
Alaskan students in  the WWAMI program] to use  the University of                                                               
Washington medical  school facilities since Alaska  does not have                                                               
a medical  school.  He  asked whether non-Alaskan  WWAMI students                                                               
pay  the same  fees and  if  their respective  states absorb  the                                                               
costs.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DR. SHELBY  answered that  the fees in  question were  related to                                                               
the partnership participation fees  between Alaska and University                                                               
of  Washington  to  pay  for   infrastructure  to  teach  medical                                                               
students  for  clinical  training   and  other  required  student                                                               
services.     All  WWAMI  students   pay  the  same   or  similar                                                               
partnership  participation  fees;  however, Alaska  is  the  only                                                               
state that requires  its medical students to pay  for the state's                                                               
portion  of  the infrastructure  partnership  fee  for the  WWAMI                                                               
program.  In  fact, Alaska was the only state  in the nation that                                                               
required  such a  payback.    She explained  that  the fees  have                                                               
nothing to  do with  tuition or  scholarships.   Alaska's program                                                               
provides the most cost-effective  public medical education in the                                                               
nation.  Rather  than paying $20 million per year  to run its own                                                               
medical  school  or  building brick  and  mortar  facilities  and                                                               
recruiting faculty, Alaska pays a  much smaller amount to use the                                                               
accredited University  of Washington School of  Medicine (UWSOM),                                                               
which is a top-ten medical school.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:58:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  recalled  that   the  declining  number  of                                                               
students  applying  for  the  WWAMI  program  was  attributed  to                                                               
students  applying  to  other  medical schools.    He  asked  for                                                               
further  clarification  on  the  infrastructure  fees  and  if  a                                                               
student  who  attended  a  non-WWAMI   medical  school  pays  for                                                               
infrastructure fees  or if the  fees were associated  solely with                                                               
the WWAMI  program.  He  wondered about the overall  student debt                                                               
for  non-WWAMI  students  as  compared  to  those  in  the  WWAMI                                                               
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR.  SHELBY answered  that no  other state  requires its  medical                                                               
students repay fees  if they do not stay in  the respective state                                                               
to practice  medicine.   She reiterated that  Alaska is  the only                                                               
state  in the  nation that  requires  a payback  for the  state's                                                               
infrastructure investment.  Some  schools, such as the University                                                               
of  Wyoming [a  WWAMI  school], have  scholarships  that cover  a                                                               
substantial portion  of their tuition.   These schools  require a                                                               
service  payback  if  the  students do  not  return  to  practice                                                               
medicine in their respective states,  but the payback is based on                                                               
these  medical  students  receiving a  significant  reduction  in                                                               
tuition.    Alaska  does  not provide  tuition  for  its  medical                                                               
students  but   covers  the  WWAMI   students   portion   of  the                                                               
partnership   participation  for   the  infrastructure   for  the                                                               
decentralized  medical school.    If the  WWAMI  students do  not                                                               
return to work  in Alaska, the state requires  the WWAMI students                                                               
to  repay  the infrastructure  fees.     She  characterized  this                                                               
repayment as unique since Alaska  is the only state that requires                                                               
the payback.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:01:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  asked if  the  other  WWAMI states  besides                                                               
Alaska  and  Washington  -  Wyoming, Montana  and  Idaho  -  have                                                               
medical  schools.     He  further   asked  whether   the  payback                                                               
requirement was  a deterrent for students  that might incentivize                                                               
them to go to a non-WWAMI medical school.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR. SHELBY answered  that there were no other  medical schools in                                                               
the other WWAMI  states [besides University of  Washington].  She                                                               
offered her  belief that the  payback requirement did  affect the                                                               
recruitment  of  top  students.   Factoring  in  the  50  percent                                                               
payback,  the Alaska  WWAMI program  becomes more  expensive than                                                               
attending Harvard  Medical School.   She explained that  it would                                                               
be  very  detrimental  for  Alaska to  recruit  students  if  the                                                               
payback  was increased  to a  full  100 percent.   Most  students                                                               
apply to  more than one  medical school, which means  Alaska must                                                               
compete  to recruit  the best  students  and while  historically,                                                               
Alaska has done  well, that has been changing.   She recalled one                                                               
student  who was  unsure  of her  specialty  ultimately chose  to                                                               
attend Stanford Medicine  for the same cost as she  would have if                                                               
she  had paid  the  50 percent  payback.   She  reported that  61                                                               
percent of  Alaska's WWAMI students  return to  practice medicine                                                               
in Alaska as compared to 49 percent nationwide.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:03:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  asked  for   confirmation  that  the  full                                                               
tuition for  Harvard Medical School  was less expensive  than the                                                               
WWAMI program for  students who do not return to  Alaska and must                                                               
reimburse  the state  for in-state  versus out-of-state  tuition.                                                               
He reiterated his  question was if WWAMI was  more expensive than                                                               
full tuition at Harvard Medicine [medical school].                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR. SHELBY responded  yes, that if one combined  the average cost                                                               
of  medical school  for Alaskans  at $170,463  and including  the                                                               
payback for  infrastructure would  total $232,875.   She reported                                                               
that attending Harvard Medical School would cost $220,000.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:05:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  asked why  University of  Washington School                                                               
of Medicine was more expensive  than other medical schools in the                                                               
Lower 48.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR. SHELBY argued that it was  not more expensive.  In comparison                                                               
with other  public medical schools,  Alaska WWAMI  students would                                                               
pay a  few thousand dollars  less per  year than to  attend other                                                               
medical schools, she said.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:05:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  asked  for further  clarification  on  how                                                               
University of Washington School  of Medicine out-of-state tuition                                                               
compares  to  other Lower  48  medical  schools such  as  Harvard                                                               
Medical School.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DR. SHELBY answered that it would be comparable.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:06:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked whether  it was easier  for Alaskans                                                               
to get  accepted at University  of Washington School  of Medicine                                                               
using the  WWAMI program since  Alaska has 20  positions reserved                                                               
than  to apply  directly  to  the school  [outside  of the  WWAMI                                                               
program].                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR. SHELBY  answered that the  University of Washington  - School                                                               
of Medicine (UWSOM) has approximately  7,000 out-of-state, out of                                                               
WWAMI  region applications  each year  and accepts  approximately                                                               
ten students.  She attested  the 20 guaranteed slots reserved for                                                               
Alaska WWAMI  students are very  valuable since it would  be very                                                               
difficult  to enter  into the  UWSOM as  an out-of-state  medical                                                               
student.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:07:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX agreed  that was her point.   She concluded                                                               
that WWAMI provided Alaska's students  with an advantage since it                                                               
would  be much  more  difficult to  achieve  acceptance into  the                                                               
program if they applied directly.   She asked what Alaska derives                                                               
from the  WWAMI program if  students do  not return to  Alaska to                                                               
practice medicine.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR.  SHELBY  responded  that  61   percent  of  Alaska's  medical                                                               
students in  the WWAMI  program come back  to Alaska  to practice                                                               
medicine, which  was an excellent  rate compared to  the national                                                               
statistics.  In addition, a  few students from other WWAMI states                                                               
come to Alaska for their  rotations.  These medical professionals                                                               
develop relationships  and are recruited  to Alaska.   The return                                                               
rate goes to 70 percent if  other WWAMI students are factored in,                                                               
she said.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:08:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX offered her  support for the WWAMI program.                                                               
She expressed an interest in  learning the benefits of sending an                                                               
Alaskan medical student through the  WWAMI program if the medical                                                               
student does not return to Alaska to work.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR.  SHELBY  responded  that all  states  participate  in  public                                                               
medical education,  but not  all students in  all states  stay in                                                               
their home states to practice  medicine.  She characterized it as                                                               
an exchange  and a flow of  physicians from state to  state.  She                                                               
said if 70 percent of the  WWAMI students return to Alaska and 30                                                               
percent  of   Alaska's  WWAMI  students  who   graduate  practice                                                               
elsewhere;  that  Alaska has  provided  for  the common  good  of                                                               
public  medical education  in  the  nation.   At  the same  time,                                                               
Alaska  benefits  from  the  70  percent  of  the  Alaskan  WWAMI                                                               
graduates returning to Alaska, she said.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTAIVE LEDOUX reiterated her support for the program.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:10:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  for clarification  on the  cost for                                                               
out-of-state  tuition  at  University  of  Washington  School  of                                                               
Medicine.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR.   SHELBY  offered   to  research   out-of-state  tuition   at                                                               
University of Washington  and report back to the  committee.  She                                                               
offered a guess that it was about $58,000 per year.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:10:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX referred  to a  graph in  members' packets                                                               
that  reported the  cost  of attending  medical  school with  and                                                               
without  payback  fees.    She   said  that  tuition  for  public                                                               
education was $181,179  and private $206,000.   She asked whether                                                               
that was for four years of college.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DR. SHELBY answered yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:11:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX recalled  the Alaskan who decided  to go to                                                               
medical  school  at  Stanford  University.   She  asked  for  any                                                               
benefits this  student would have  attained from using  the WWAMI                                                               
program,  except the  student  would  not need  to  repay the  50                                                               
percent infrastructure fee.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR. SHELBY  said the  rate of  return to  practice for  all WWAMI                                                               
states was  similar, yet  only Alaska  required payback  of fees.                                                               
She was  unsure what percentage  of students returned  solely due                                                               
to  the  payback penalty.    She  attested  that Alaska  does  an                                                               
excellent  job   selecting  students   for  the   WWAMI  program,                                                               
including asking students  about their intentions at  the time of                                                               
the  interview.    She  reminded  members  that  the  applicants'                                                               
families live  in Alaska.   She emphasized  the strong  return to                                                               
practice  rate  with  or  without the  payback  penalties.    She                                                               
expressed concern  about losing  prospective students due  to the                                                               
potential debt,  which was comparable  to Harvard  Medical School                                                               
costs for  those students who choose  not to return to  Alaska to                                                               
practice medicine.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
5:13:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  if   structuring  the  program  to                                                               
increase  the  payback amount  for  students  who choose  not  to                                                               
return to  Alaska.   Doing so  would sift  out students  who were                                                               
uncertain  they wanted  to return  to Alaska,  helping to  ensure                                                               
that  program participants  were  most likely  to  return to  the                                                               
state to practice.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR. SHELBY was unsure of that  approach since fees of 100 percent                                                               
would  likely be  more of  a deterrent  than an  incentive.   She                                                               
expressed  concern that  increasing payback  fees might  harm the                                                               
program  since  top  students  have  other  opportunities.    She                                                               
explained  that  many students  apply  to  multiple schools,  get                                                               
accepted at  some or  all of  the schools  for which  they apply.                                                               
Some programs  also offer scholarships that  Alaska cannot match,                                                               
and  to add  a  potential  penalty would  be  detrimental.   Some                                                               
students who begin a medical school  program in their mid to late                                                               
20s do  not know what practice  they will specialize in  and that                                                               
decision may or may not be conducive to practicing in Alaska.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:14:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX recalled  earlier  testimony  that it  was                                                               
nearly  impossible   to  get  into   popular  schools   like  the                                                               
University  of  Washington -  School  of  Medicine (UWSOM),  with                                                               
7,000  applicants for  only 10  positions.   Although it  is very                                                               
difficult to  get accepted to  medical school, the  WWAMI program                                                               
makes it far more likely for  Alaska residents to get accepted to                                                               
UWSOM program;  one of the  top ten schools  in the country.   It                                                               
would  seem that  these students  could apply  outside the  WWAMI                                                               
program  and avoid  repaying the  associated infrastructure  fee,                                                               
she said.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR.  SHELBY  acknowledged that  it  was  very  hard to  get  into                                                               
University of Washington  - School of Medicine (UWSOM)  as a non-                                                               
resident; however,  in recent years,  she has known  students who                                                               
applied and  were accepted to  WWAMI, but ultimately chose  to go                                                               
to  other schools,  such as  the  University of  New Mexico,  the                                                               
University  of Colorado,  the University  of Minnesota.   Alaskan                                                               
students   desiring  to   attend   medical   school  are   highly                                                               
competitive, so  it is not  a given that  they will apply  to the                                                               
WWAMI program since these students have other options.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:17:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
State Affairs Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 5:17                                                                  
p.m.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB400 Sponsor Statement 3.7.18.pdf HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/13/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 400
HB400 Sectional Analysis 3.7.18.pdf HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/13/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 400
HB400 ver A 2.28.18.pdf HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/13/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 400
HB400 Fiscal Note DPS 3.1.18.pdf HSTA 3/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/13/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 400
HB400 Amendment 1 3.7.18.pdf HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/13/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 400
HB400 Amendment2 3.13.18.pdf HSTA 3/13/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 400
HB400 Amendment3 3.14.18.pdf HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 400
HB 71 Sectional Analysis 3.7.18.pdf HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 71
HB71 ver O 3.2.18.pdf HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 71
HB 71 Explanation of Changes 3.7.18.pdf HSTA 3/8/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 71
HB352 Sponsor Statement 2.15.18.pdf HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 352
HB 352 Sectional Analysis 2.26.18.pdf HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 352
HB0352 ver A 2.16.18.pdf HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 352
HB352 Fiscal Note DOE 3.12.18.pdf HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 352
HB352 Fiscal Note DOR 3.12.18.pdf HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 352
HB 352 Amendment March 7 2018.pdf HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 352
HB 352 Supporting Doc NEW voter Opt-Out Mailer.pdf HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 352
HB 352 Supporting Doc UPDATE voter mailer.pdf HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 352
HB 352 Supporting Document - DOE bullets points.pdf HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 352
HB 352 Supporting Document - Election Policy Work Group Report.pdf HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 352
HB 352 Supporting Document - Excerpt from 2017 DOE Fiscal & Policy Challenges Report.pdf HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 352
HB 352 Supporting Document 15PFVR-Statement-of-Costs.pdf HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 352
HB352 Letter of Support_Speaker Edgmon.pdf HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 352
H STA Indirect Expenditure Hearings 3.13.18.pdf HSTA 3/15/2018 3:15:00 PM