Legislature(2011 - 2012)SENATE FINANCE 532

02/01/2012 09:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 119 ATHLETIC TRAINER LICENSING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 38 POLICE & FIREFIGHTER DEATH BENEFITS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 83 TEACHER BOARD CERTIFICATION INCENTIVES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 115 PORTABLE ELECTRONICS INSURANCE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 1, 2012                                                                                           
                         9:00 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:00:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman   called  the  Senate   Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 9:00 a.m.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Bert Stedman, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Lesil McGuire, Vice-Chair                                                                                               
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
Senator Dennis Egan                                                                                                             
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Joe Thomas                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Kevin  Meyer;  Brenda  Sheldon,  President,  Alaska                                                                    
Athletic  Trainers Association;  Christopher Dean,  Athletic                                                                    
Trainer; Don Habeger,  Director, Corporations, Business, and                                                                    
Professional Licensing;  Jim Puckett, Director,  Division of                                                                    
Retirement  and  Benefits;  Aaron Danielson,  Public  Safety                                                                    
Employee  Association;  Chris   Gifford,  Municipal  Chapter                                                                    
President, Public Safety  Employee Association; Derek Hsiel,                                                                    
Anchorage  Police  Department   Employee  Association;  Eric                                                                    
Tuott,  Anchorage  Firefighters;   Murray  Richmond,  Staff,                                                                    
Senator  Joe Thomas;  John  Alcantra, Government  Relations,                                                                    
National   Education   Association,  Alaska;   Linda   Hall,                                                                    
Director,  Division   of  Insurance;   Christine  Marasigan,                                                                    
Staff, Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Larry Semmens,  City Manager, City of  Soldotna; Ron Thorpe,                                                                    
President and CEO, National  Board for Professional Teaching                                                                    
Standards,  Washington   DC;  Pete   Lewis,  Superintendent,                                                                    
Fairbanks North  Star Borough School District;  Tammy Smith,                                                                    
Fairbanks Education Association;  Stephen McDaniel, Asurion,                                                                    
Florida                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB 38     Police and Firefighter Death Benefits                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          SB 38 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SB 83     Teacher Board Certification Incentives                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          SB 83 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SB 115    Portable Electronics Insurance                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          SB 115 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SB 119    Athletic Trainer Licensing                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
          SB 119 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 119                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to the licensing and regulation of                                                                        
     athletic trainers."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:01:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KEVIN  MEYER, introduced  SB 119. He  explained that                                                                    
athletic trainers were  certified, health care professionals                                                                    
who  practice   in  the  field   of  sports   medicine.  The                                                                    
profession  played a  significant  role  in the  management,                                                                    
prevention,  recognition   and  rehabilitation   of  injured                                                                    
athletes under  the supervision of  a license  physician. As                                                                    
people  became increasingly  more active,  athletic trainers                                                                    
were a  vital resource in administering  immediate emergency                                                                    
care as well as injury prevention and treatment.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
BRENDA   SHELDON,   PRESIDENT,  ALASKA   ATHLETIC   TRAINERS                                                                    
ASSOCIATION,  spoke in  support of  SB 119.  She noted  that                                                                    
Alaska  was  one  of  three  states  that  did  not  license                                                                    
athletic  trainers.  She  explained  that  athletic  trainer                                                                    
clients  ranged from  athletes  to  industrial workers.  She                                                                    
noted  that  athletic  trainers  were  often  the  first  to                                                                    
respond in the cases of injuries.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sheldon explained that SB  119 would require everyone in                                                                    
Alaska  who considered  themselves athletic  trainers to  be                                                                    
licensed. She  explained that she  was an  athletic trainer,                                                                    
and shared her personal feelings  about the importance of SB                                                                    
119.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:07:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTOPHER DEAN, ATHLETIC TRAINER,  testified in support of                                                                    
SB  119.  He explained  that  SB  119 would  ensure  quality                                                                    
medical care  for the athletes  in Alaska. He  stressed that                                                                    
some parents had become dependent on athletic trainers.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  noted the  new  fiscal  impact note  from                                                                    
Department of Commerce,  Community and Economic Development,                                                                    
and  a  new   zero  fiscal  note  from   the  Department  of                                                                    
Administration.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Thomas wondered  if the  initial  licensing fee  of                                                                    
$900 would  be covered  in the  bill. Senator  Meyer replied                                                                    
that the  $900 could  possibly be covered  by the  state. He                                                                    
hoped to discuss reasons why the licensing was so high.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas agreed that the fee was very high.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DON   HABEGER,   DIRECTOR,   CORPORATIONS,   BUSINESS,   AND                                                                    
PROFESSIONAL  LICENSING, explained  that  the licensing  fee                                                                    
was  high, because  it was  expensive to  install a  program                                                                    
into  the  system. He  stressed  that  once the  system  was                                                                    
implemented, the program would  be complete with application                                                                    
accessibility. He  stated that there  was a belief  that the                                                                    
program could easily get absorbed into the existing staff.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:14:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas wondered  if the cost was  high because there                                                                    
were a  small number of  individuals who were  interested in                                                                    
applying. He felt  it could be a  simple implementation. Mr.                                                                    
Habeger  replied  that it  was  a  statutory requirement  to                                                                    
charge  the user  fees in  implementation. He  stressed that                                                                    
the fee was legitimate.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas wondered how many  people were anticipated to                                                                    
be licensed.  Mr. Habeger replied  that there was no  way he                                                                    
could  predict  that  number, but  relied  on  the  Athletic                                                                    
Trainer Association to provide that number.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson wondered  if there was a  licensing board that                                                                    
would have  a small number  of licensees. Mr.  Habeger noted                                                                    
that  a similar  program was  the Midwife  Board, and  their                                                                    
biennial program fee was about $2000.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  wondered if  there was a  process to  pay for                                                                    
the  investigator to  deal with  the complaint.  Mr. Habeger                                                                    
noted that there were recent  discussions regarding the Real                                                                    
Estate Commission, and those costs could spike.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator  McGuire wondered  how  the  school districts  would                                                                    
intersect into the program. She  wondered if the costs would                                                                    
be passed on to the  school district. Senator Meyer deferred                                                                    
to a school district employee.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator  McGuire restated  that she  was concerned  with the                                                                    
costs  for  the  school  districts. Mr.  Dean  replied  that                                                                    
currently  no school  district in  Alaska employed  athletic                                                                    
trainers.  He   stressed  that   the  school   districts  in                                                                    
Fairbanks were highly dependent on benefactors.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:21:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Dean noted  that midwives had a board,  but the athletic                                                                    
trainers  do  not  have  a  board.  He  felt  that  athletic                                                                    
trainers could be better compared with nutritionists.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator Egan  wondered if the  fees would increase  if there                                                                    
was  an   investigation  regarding  licensing   issues.  Mr.                                                                    
Habeger replied that the division  had an investigative unit                                                                    
that  was  responsible for  any  violation  of Title  A.  If                                                                    
investigators determined that there  was a violation, then a                                                                    
process  occurred with  the possibility  for many  different                                                                    
outcomes. He stressed  that most of the time  there were low                                                                    
cost  issues, but  if there  was  a legal  process then  the                                                                    
Department of Law would be involved.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Egan  wondered if there  would be  background checks                                                                    
for people  that applied for  licenses. Mr.  Habeger replied                                                                    
that  if the  applicant remained  current with  the national                                                                    
organization,  then the  applicant would  be eligible  for a                                                                    
state license.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:27:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson  noted  that  Mr.   Dean  had  declared  that                                                                    
athletic   trainers  were   more  like   nutritionists  than                                                                    
midwives,  and  wondered if  Mr.  Habeger  agreed with  that                                                                    
assumption. Mr.  Habeger did not  know the specifics  of the                                                                    
Nutritionist program.  He noted  that Naturopaths had  a fee                                                                    
of $400, and did not have a board.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  wondered what penalties would  be incurred if                                                                    
the license  were suspended. Senator Meyer  replied that the                                                                    
licensees were overseen by the National Board.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  noted that there  was an issue  of diagnosing                                                                    
and treatment.  He expressed concern that  athletic trainers                                                                    
were  not authorized  to  practice  medicine. Senator  Meyer                                                                    
stressed that  there were  specific requirements  for people                                                                    
that  call themselves  athletic trainers.  He also  stressed                                                                    
that they  were not  going to  practice medicine.  He stated                                                                    
that  he did  not know  how the  bill would  apply to  rural                                                                    
areas, but agreed to provide that information.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SB  119  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 38                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act establishing a one-time occupational death                                                                         
     benefit for peace officers and firefighters."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:33:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Meyer  stated that  SB 38  would provide  a one-time                                                                    
payment of  $100,000 occupational death  benefit established                                                                    
in Section  2 of the draft  bill. It would provide  that the                                                                    
payment may not be made to  anyone but a surviving spouse of                                                                    
a dependent child  of a peace officer. He  stressed that the                                                                    
death  of a  peace officer  was  fairly rare  in Alaska.  He                                                                    
noted several letters of support.  He noted that the average                                                                    
age of a peace officer who dies  in the line of duty was 38-                                                                    
years-old.  He   stressed  that  the  bill   was  especially                                                                    
important, because the officer  may have small children that                                                                    
needed financial support.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  wondered what  other states  programs were                                                                    
in comparison to  this bill. Senator Meyer  stated that each                                                                    
state  had different  programs. CHRISTINE  MARASIGAN, STAFF,                                                                    
SENATOR KEVIN  MEYER, stated that  39 other  states provided                                                                    
similar benefit.  She said the  benefit ranged  from $25,000                                                                    
to $400,000.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Egan  requested an explanation of  the fiscal note's                                                                    
continual  increase  over  time. Ms.  Marasigan  noted  that                                                                    
there was  some information  required related  to liability.                                                                    
She stressed that there was  some actuary liability studies.                                                                    
Senator  Meyer  added that  there  was  anticipation of  one                                                                    
death per year.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:38:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  looked at the  pension fund, and  wondered if                                                                    
the  peace   officers  would  be  required   to  pay  higher                                                                    
insurance because  of the potential of  more deaths. Senator                                                                    
Meyer  believed  that  the  money would  be  used  from  the                                                                    
unfunded  liability,  meaning  that the  money  was  already                                                                    
available.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson  wondered if there  were other  death benefits                                                                    
for officers  that die  in the line  of duty.  Senator Meyer                                                                    
replied that there were some life insurance benefits.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JIM PUCKETT, DIRECTOR, DIVISION  OF RETIREMENT AND BENEFITS,                                                                    
introduced himself.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  wondered  what   the  tier  4  employees'                                                                    
benefits  would  be. Mr.  Puckett  replied  that they  would                                                                    
receive the DCR balance.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  surmised that  the benefit would  be zero.                                                                    
Mr.  Puckett agreed  to provide  more information  regarding                                                                    
tier 4 employee benefits.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Stedman  requested   information  regarding   the                                                                    
structure of the  tier 4 benefits, because he  would like to                                                                    
look at  the comparative differences between  a new employee                                                                    
and one  that had  been employed for  20 years.  Mr. Puckett                                                                    
explained that if  there was a loss of life  due to accident                                                                    
on  the job,  there would  be  a life  insurance benefit  of                                                                    
$100,000  and  the  Supplemental Benefit  System  (SBS).  He                                                                    
stated that  he would provide further  information regarding                                                                    
new employees.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson  wondered  when   the  benefits  would  begin                                                                    
following  the death.  Mr. Puckett  replied that  basic life                                                                    
insurance would  occur immediately,  and the check  would be                                                                    
disclosed within a week following the incident.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:44:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman requested  written information in grid-form                                                                    
regarding  the  tier  system benefits  and  structures.  Mr.                                                                    
Puckett agreed to provide that information.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Egan wondered  if it there was an  assumption of one                                                                    
death  per  year,  when  the  calculations  were  made.  Mr.                                                                    
Puckett replied  that the one  death per year was  the basis                                                                    
of the calculation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator Egan  wondered how the unfunded  liability increased                                                                    
$650,000.   Mr.   Puckett  requested   further   information                                                                    
regarding  Senator Egan's  reference  of $650,000.  Co-Chair                                                                    
Stedman  stated that  it was  in the  Buck Analysis,  second                                                                    
paragraph last  sentence. He felt  that the  accumulation of                                                                    
expenditures was added  to the negative side  of the balance                                                                    
sheet.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  wondered who picked  up the tab:  the city                                                                    
or the state. He explained  that the state would be required                                                                    
to provide the  funds, because the cities were  capped at 22                                                                    
percent. He  felt that there  would be a  broader discussion                                                                    
related to that topic.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
AARON   DANIELSON,  PUBLIC   SAFETY  EMPLOYEE   ASSOCIATION,                                                                    
testified  in  support of  SB  38.  He  felt that  the  bill                                                                    
addressed the  families of the officer  greatest concern. He                                                                    
pointed out that the bill would provide peace of mind.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:49:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS  GIFFORD, MUNICIPAL  CHAPTER PRESIDENT,  PUBLIC SAFETY                                                                    
EMPLOYEE  ASSOCIATION,  spoke  in   support  of  SB  38.  He                                                                    
stressed the  importance of the  benefit of the  families of                                                                    
the officers.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DEREK   HSIEL,   ANCHORAGE    POLICE   DEPARTMENT   EMPLOYEE                                                                    
ASSOCIATION, testified  in support of  SB 38. He  focused on                                                                    
the reality  of death in  the line  of duty. He  pointed out                                                                    
that  training  for  death  was   a  requirement  for  peace                                                                    
officers.   The  training   was   used   to  inoculate   the                                                                    
understanding of  death. He pointed  out that  when officers                                                                    
were  killed in  the  line of  duty, the  work  for the  day                                                                    
continued.  He  stressed  that   death  was  expensive,  and                                                                    
sometimes there were extra costs  incurred by the family. He                                                                    
stressed  that  sometimes   business  contributions  off-set                                                                    
costs, but smaller communities might not have that benefit.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:54:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  McGuire   noted  that  $100,000  might   not  be  a                                                                    
substantial amount of money. She  wondered if there were any                                                                    
scholarship  opportunities for  dependents. She  hoped there                                                                    
may be a  possibility for a four-year scholarship  for an in                                                                    
state  college  for children.  Mr.  Hsiel  pointed out  some                                                                    
benefits in  the military. He  felt that the  added benefits                                                                    
would be left to the legislature's discretion.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator   McGuire  requested   more  information   regarding                                                                    
scholarships, and  noted a  summary of  the record  of peace                                                                    
officer  deaths in  Alaska. She  also  would like  to see  a                                                                    
scholarship  benefit  possibility.  Co-Chair  Stedman  noted                                                                    
that those requests  should be directed at  the bill sponsor                                                                    
and the Department of Public Safety.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:59:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERIC TUOTT, ANCHORAGE FIREFIGHTERS,  testified in support of                                                                    
SB 38. He  stated that he was married  with a three-year-old                                                                    
daughter, so his family would  be greatly affected if he was                                                                    
killed in the line of duty.  He stressed that deaths did not                                                                    
happen frequently, but did occur occasionally.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
LARRY  SEMMENS,   CITY  MANAGER,   CITY  OF   SOLDOTNA  (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  against SB 38. He  stressed that                                                                    
the  employees were  already covered  by occupational  death                                                                    
benefits. If SB 38 passed, He  thought it was a poor time to                                                                    
add benefits that would increase  the unfunded liability. He                                                                    
indicated  we  should  be working  to  reduce  the  unfunded                                                                    
liability, and not add benefits.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman pointed  out  the new  fiscal impact  note                                                                    
from the  Department of Administration,  for a  zero-cost in                                                                    
FY  2013. However,  the there  was  an anticipated  $175,000                                                                    
general fund  increase in  the annual  employer contribution                                                                    
amount beginning  in FY 2014, with  incremental increases in                                                                    
the following years. He stressed that there would be an                                                                         
impact on the unfunded liability.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:07:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson wondered what community contribution would                                                                        
be. Senator Meyer replied that the local contribution was                                                                       
currently 22 percent.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator McGuire referenced Title 14.43.085.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Meyer thanked the committee.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SB 38 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:09:33 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:13:39 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 83                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  providing for payment  and loan  incentives to                                                                    
     public    school    teachers   for    national    board                                                                    
     certification."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:14:16 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas explained SB 83. He referred to the Sponsor                                                                      
Statement (copy on file):                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Teaching  is one  of the  most difficult  and important                                                                    
     jobs  we have  in our  society. In  order to  have good                                                                    
     schools, we must have good teachers.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Senate Bill  83 provides  an incentive for  teachers to                                                                    
     ramp  up their  professional  knowledge  and skills  by                                                                    
     becoming nationally certified by  the National Board of                                                                    
     Professional  Teaching  Standards.  Teachers  would  be                                                                    
     provided with  zero interest loans designed  to pay the                                                                    
     expense  of enrolling  in the  program. Once  certified                                                                    
     they  would receive  a $1,000  annual  stipend for  the                                                                    
    duration of their certification period (ten years).                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     If the  teacher is  serving in  a low  performing, high                                                                    
     poverty area  they would receive  a $1,000  stipend for                                                                    
     enrolling in the program, and  $1,500 loan for the rest                                                                    
     of the  expense. They would also  receive an additional                                                                    
     $500  annually  as  long  as they  remained  in  a  low                                                                    
     performing, high poverty area.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Becoming  nationally   certified  is  a   rigorous  and                                                                    
     demanding  process, and  can take  up  to three  years.                                                                    
     There  are 25  different  areas  of certification  (see                                                                    
     page  7  of the  packet),  and  teachers specialize  in                                                                    
     their specific subject  area. The certification process                                                                    
     focuses  on  five  aspects of  teaching:  Students  and                                                                    
     their learning,  the subjects being  taught and  how to                                                                    
     teach them,  managing and monitoring  student learning,                                                                    
     thinking   systematically   about   the   practice   of                                                                    
     teaching, and being members of the learning community.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
    We appreciate your support on this important bill.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MURRAY RICHMOND, STAFF, SENATOR  JOE THOMAS, explained SB 83                                                                    
further.  He   stressed  that   the  board   was  nationally                                                                    
recognized,  and noted  that  certification  was a  rigorous                                                                    
three-year process. He explained the sections of the bill.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:19:26 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman  noted the  new zero  fiscal note  from the                                                                    
Department  of  Education  and  Early  Development  for  the                                                                    
Commission on  Post-secondary Education  and the  new fiscal                                                                    
impact  note  from the  Department  of  Education and  Early                                                                    
Development for Teaching and Learning Support.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
RON   THORPE,  PRESIDENT   AND  CEO,   NATIONAL  BOARD   FOR                                                                    
PROFESSIONAL   TEACHING   STANDARDS,  WASHINGTON   DC   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified   in  support   of  SB   83.  He                                                                    
explained  that  the board  was  at  the forefront  of  high                                                                    
quality teaching  education. He  felt that  board membership                                                                    
would provide peace  of mind to parents.  He emphasized that                                                                    
board certification  standards were  very high.  He stressed                                                                    
that students  who were  taught by  board-certified teachers                                                                    
displayed higher test scores.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:24:42 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Thorpe  discussed the national board  certified teachers                                                                    
in Alaska. He stated that  there were currently 135 National                                                                    
Board  Certified teachers  in Alaska,  with over  40 percent                                                                    
teaching  in  Anchorage  and 20  percent  in  Fairbanks.  He                                                                    
stressed that  the number of certified  teachers represented                                                                    
only 1.5 percent  of the Alaska K-12  workforce. He stressed                                                                    
that the  number of certified teachers  was growing rapidly.                                                                    
He  explained  that in  December  2011,  there were  14  new                                                                    
Alaska  teachers   who  had  earned  their   national  board                                                                    
certification.  He explained  that  if a  group of  teachers                                                                    
could pursue the certification together.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Thorpe shared  a  story  about a  rural  school in  New                                                                    
Mexico. He  stated that  in 2009, the  school had  never met                                                                    
federal  standards. He  stated  that in  2009, a  nationally                                                                    
certified  teacher  was  hired  as the  principal,  and  the                                                                    
school gained  9 percent in  math and 5 percent  in reading,                                                                    
which resulted in the school meeting federal standards.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
PETE  LEWIS, SUPERINTENDENT,  FAIRBANKS  NORTH STAR  BOROUGH                                                                    
SCHOOL DISTRICT  (via teleconference), testified  in support                                                                    
of SB 83.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:30:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TAMMY   SMITH,   FAIRBANKS    EDUCATION   ASSOCIATION   (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke in support of SB 83.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  ALCANTRA,  GOVERNMENT  RELATIONS,  NATIONAL  EDUCATION                                                                    
ASSOCIATION, ALASKA,  spoke in  support of  SB 83.  He noted                                                                    
that  400  National  Education Association  (NEA)  delegates                                                                    
gathered to profess support of  SB 83. He explained that the                                                                    
state of  Wyoming has  a $4000  annual stipend  for National                                                                    
Board certification for its teachers.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:36:33 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson  wondered   what  if  national  certification                                                                    
affected  drop-out rates.  Mr.  Alcantra  agreed to  provide                                                                    
that information.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson wondered  what positive  impacts would  occur                                                                    
with  national  certification.  Mr.  Alcantra  replied  that                                                                    
there  was  evidence of  higher  benchmark  test scores  and                                                                    
students advancing by one year.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson wondered how many  teachers in private schools                                                                    
were nationally certified. Mr. Alcantra did not know.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman noted  the two fiscal notes  attached to SB                                                                    
83:  one  new fiscal  impact  note  from the  Department  of                                                                    
Education  and Early  Development, and  one new  zero fiscal                                                                    
note   from   the   Department  of   Education   and   Early                                                                    
Development.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SB 83 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 115                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act defining  portable  electronics insurance  and                                                                    
     authorizing  the  director  of  insurance  to  issue  a                                                                    
     limited  producer  license  to   a  person  that  sells                                                                    
     portable electronics insurance."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:41:12 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:43:27 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:43:32 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Egan explained SB 115. He referred to the Sponsor                                                                       
Statement (copy on file):                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     As  cell phones,  tablet computers  and other  portable                                                                    
     electronic devices proliferate  and become necessary to                                                                    
     commerce  and  communication,  insurers have  begun  to                                                                    
     create products  to cover the  loss or damage  of these                                                                    
     valuable  and   important  possessions.   Because  most                                                                    
     electronic devices  are sold through retailers  who are                                                                    
     not usually in the insurance business, and because most                                                                    
     portable  electronics  insurance   is  sold  where  the                                                                    
     devices  are   purchases,  without   regulation  wildly                                                                    
     divergent  standards  have  evolved under  which  these                                                                    
     policies are sold. There is at present a chaotic market                                                                    
     for such insurance.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Under these circumstances,  the possibility exists that                                                                    
     less  well capitalized,  or less  scrupulous, companies                                                                    
     may not survive in the marketplace or otherwise may not                                                                    
     be  able to  make  good on  their promises.  Similarly,                                                                    
     sales  personnel  working  for  vendors  of  electronic                                                                    
     devices may  not understand these products  well enough                                                                    
     to explain  them to  customers, and  they may  well not                                                                    
     understand the  disclosure laws under which  sellers of                                                                    
     insurance must operate, leaving consumers vulnerable to                                                                    
     liabilities they do not fully comprehend.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     To  guard   against  the  excesses  of   a  marketplace                                                                    
     frontier,  reputable  companies  seek  regulation  that                                                                    
     protects both  the customer  and the reputation  of the                                                                    
     products being  marketed. SB 116 seeks  to provide both                                                                    
     sellers and  buyers the confidence to  enter the market                                                                    
     for  portable  electronics insurance--buyers  that  the                                                                    
     product  will  be   both  appropriate  and  dependable,                                                                    
     sellers that their products  will be trusted and sought                                                                    
     after.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson   wondered  if   other  states   had  similar                                                                    
legislation Senator Egan replied yes.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  noted  the  one  zero  fiscal  note  from                                                                    
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
STEPHEN  MCDANIEL,  ASURION, FLORIDA  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  support of  SB  115.  He explained  that  the                                                                    
legislation would protect consumers.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:46:39 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LINDA  HALL,  DIRECTOR,  DIVISION OF  INSURANCE,  introduced                                                                    
herself.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman  requested  the  thoughts,  concerns,  and                                                                    
perspective of  the Division of Insurance.  Ms. Hall replied                                                                    
that the division did not  introduce the bill. She explained                                                                    
that the division  had agreed to license the  vendor to have                                                                    
the  limited producer  license, and  the employees  would be                                                                    
able  to  sell and  train.  She  explained that  there  were                                                                    
requirements of the  vendor to keep a list  of the employees                                                                    
that were selling the insurance.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:49:00 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  McGuire   wondered  who   was  excluded   from  the                                                                    
marketplace.  Ms. Hall  felt that  the bill  would not  be a                                                                    
barrier to  entry. She stated  that it would  streamline the                                                                    
process for anyone  who wanted to sell a  product that would                                                                    
directly impact consumers.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator Egan thanked the committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SB  115  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman explained the following day's agenda.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
10:50:42 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 10:50 AM.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 119 Athletic Training Educational Overview.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 119
SB 119 Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 119
SB 119 Ltr of Supt AATA.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 119
SB 119 Support Letters 24.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 119
SB 119 Other States Chart Comparison.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 119
SB 119 US Bureau of Labor Statistics Athletic Trainers.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 119
SB 38 BuckConsultants Analysis.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 38
SB 38 Sectional.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 38
SB 38 Sponsor Statement v.A.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 38
SB 38 Support Ltr AK Prof Fire Fighters.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 38
SB 38 Support Ltr APDEA.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 38
SB 38 Support Ltr PSEA.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 38
SB 83 sponsor statement Letterhead.docx SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 83
SB 83 support documents.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 83
SB 83 State_Profile_2011_AK.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 83
SB 115 lttr supporting, ATT.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 115
SB 115 Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 115
SB 115 lttr supporting, Liberty Mutual.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 115
SB 115 Sectional Analysis.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 115
SB 119 CBPL Memo Final.pdf SFIN 2/1/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 119