Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/19/1993 01:33 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                        February 19, 1993                                      
                             1:33 p.m.                                         
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
  Senator Steve Rieger, Chairman                                               
  Senator Bert Sharp, Vice Chairman                                            
  Senator Loren Leman                                                          
  Senator Mike Miller                                                          
  Senator Johnny Ellis                                                         
  Senator Jim Duncan                                                           
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  Senator Judy Salo                                                            
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  SENATE BILL NO. 58                                                           
  "An Act relating to the longevity bonus program."                            
  SENATE BILL NO. 83                                                           
  "An Act relating to an alcohol server education course."                     
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
  SB 83 - No previous action to record.                                        
  SB 58 - No previous action to record.                                        
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  Nancy Bear Usera, Commissioner                                               
  Department of Administration                                                 
  P.O. Box 110200                                                              
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-0200                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 58.                          
  Joshua Fink, Legislative Staff                                               
    to Senator Tim Kelly                                                       
  State Capitol                                                                
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Gave sponsor statement for SB 83.                       
  Carol Wilson, Executive Director                                             
  Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant                                            
    and Retailers Association                                                  
  P.O. Box 104839                                                              
  Anchorage, Alaska                                                            
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 83.                          
  Dawn Jacobs                                                                  
  P.O. Box 3329                                                                
  Valdez, Alaska 99696                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 83.                          
  Joe Thomas, Board Member                                                     
  Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant                                            
    and Retailers Association                                                  
  P.O. Box 20977                                                               
  Juneau, Alaska 99802                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 83.                          
  Don Harris, Owner                                                            
  Red Dog Saloon                                                               
  300 Hermit Street, #17                                                       
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 83.                          
  Jerry McCutcheon                                                             
  Anchorage, Alaska                                                            
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against SB 83.                                
  Patrick Sharrock                                                             
  ABC Board                                                                    
  550 West 7th, Suite 350                                                      
  Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                      
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 83.                          
  Joseph Riley                                                                 
  Owl Hoot Inn                                                                 
  P.O. Box 967                                                                 
  Gakona, Alaska 99586                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Asked questions relating to SB 83.                      
  Glen Sodergren                                                               
  P.O. Box 724                                                                 
  Valdez, Alaska 99696                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Asked questions relating to SB 83.                      
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 93-14, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 001                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER  called  the Senate  Health, Education,  and                 
  Social Services Committee (HESS) to order at 1:33 p.m.                       
  The first order of business to come before the committee was                 
  SB  58  (PHASE  OUT  LONGEVITY BONUS).    NANCY  BEAR USERA,                 
  Commissioner, Department of Administration,  explained SB 58                 
  is a phase  out program for the longevity bonus.   The first                 
  provision is that it grandfathers in all current recipients.                 
  The second provision is that there is a three year step down                 
  phase out at $200,  $150, and $100 for the  next three years                 
  as  people  become   65.    The  program  would   then  end.                 
  Commissioner Usera said each year the program grows not just                 
  by $5 million in current dollars, but incurs a liability for                 
  the  state  of over  $100 million.    The bill  protects the                 
  current senior population for many  reasons.  The department                 
  believes that the current recipients should be grandfathered                 
  in and it  would better  align the state  to have  financial                 
  resources  available  to provide  enhanced services  for the                 
  next generation of seniors coming up.                                        
  Number 049                                                                   
  There being no public testimony  on the bill, SENATOR  SHARP                 
  moved to  pass SB 58  out of the Senate  HESS Committee with                 
  individual recommendations and with the accompanying  fiscal                 
  notes.  Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                             
  Number 061                                                                   
  The  last  order of  business  was  SB  83  (ALCOHOL  SERVER                 
  EDUCATION COURSE).   The first person to  testify was JOSHUA                 
  FINK, legislative staff to Senator Tim Kelly, sponsor of the                 
  measure.  He  explained that the legislation  was introduced                 
  by Representative Choquette last session, passed  the House,                 
  and died in the Senate Finance Committee.  He  said the bill                 
  had a number  of supporters:   Department of Public  Safety;                 
  Department of  Health and  Social Services;  Municipality of                 
  Anchorage  - Health  and Human Services  Commission; Mothers                 
  Against Drunk Driving; Bristol Bay  Area Health Corporation;                 
  Daily News; ABC Board; Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and                 
  Retailers  Association;  and  the Anchorage  Restaurant  and                 
  Beverage Association.                                                        
  Mr. Fink explained  that the legislation would  help address                 
  alcohol problems in  the state by requiring  alcohol servers                 
  to take  an  alcohol  server  education course.    Mr.  Fink                 
  continued to read the sponsor statement:                                     
  "Under SB  83, the ABC  Board would establish  criteria with                 
  which  to  evaluate  alcohol  education  programs  currently                 
  available,  and  then  would approve  a  package  of alcohol                 
  server  education  courses.   This  package would  include a                 
  variety  of  courses  which  would ensure  accessibility  to                 
  alcohol servers in  both urban  and rural  Alaska.   Various                 
  instruction mediums,  ranging from classroom  instruction to                 
  viewing  a video  cassette  followed  by written  exercises,                 
  would likely be utilized depending on the program.                           
  "Courses would include  such topics  as alcohol's affect  on                 
  the body and  behavior, particularly driving ability,  drunk                 
  driving  and civil  liability  laws, identifying  fraudulent                 
  identification, methods of  recognizing the problem drinker,                 
  use  of   community  treatment  programs,  and   methods  to                 
  peacefully terminate service to the problem customer and get                 
  him or her home safely, to name a few of the subjects.                       
  "Alcohol servers would  have 30 days  from the date the  ABC                 
  Board approves a package to complete  a course, and, for new                 
  employees,  30  days  from  the  date  of hire.    Proof  of                 
  completion  of an  approved  course  must  be  kept  on  the                 
  licensed  premises  during working  hours.   Alcohol  server                 
  education   is   already  required   by  ordinance   in  the                 
  Municipality of Anchorage."                                                  
  Mr. Fink said if  SB 83 is enacted  it should go a  long way                 
  towards helping alleviate  some of  the alcohol problems  in                 
  the state and it would increase the awareness of the alcohol                 
  CAROL  WILSON, Executive  Director,  Alaska Cabaret,  Hotel,                 
  Restaurant  and  Retailers  Association  (CHARR),  said  her                 
  organization has been in favor of  the bill for sometime and                 
  is actively supporting it.   She noted that there  isn't 100                 
  percent  of  unanimity  of  opinion,  but  the  overwhelming                 
  majority   of  the  businesses  that  CHARR  represents  are                 
  strongly in favor of SB 83.                                                  
  Number 145                                                                   
  DAWN JACOBS, testifying from Valdez,  asked if all employers                 
  and employees would have  to take an education course.   MR.                 
  FINK explained that all alcohol servers would be required to                 
  take the course.   Ms. Jacobs asked if there is  a cost, and                 
  if so, who  would pay for it.  Mr. Fink explained that there                 
  is zero fiscal note, there wouldn't be a cost to  the state.                 
  He said  there are  many programs  and the  ABC Board  would                 
  approve a package of  programs.  They would set  up criteria                 
  as  to what  must be  in  a program.   Ms.  Jacobs  said she                 
  believes SB 83 is a great idea.                                              
  JOE THOMAS,  Board Member, Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant                 
  and Retailers Association,  testified in  support of SB  83.                 
  He  informed  the  committee  he has  been  in  the  alcohol                 
  industry in  Juneau for 29 years.   He referred to  the TAMS                 
  Program and said it is the first thing that he has seen that                 
  gives the industry some sort of  a standard criteria to deal                 
  with people when they have had too much to drink and how and                 
  when to turn them  away.  He said it has  been very helpful,                 
  and  he has  requested  that all  his  employees attend  the                 
  course.  He pointed out that the insurance industry feels it                 
  is a valuable tool and some companies will give a 10 percent                 
  discount on liquor liability insurance  if 80 percent of the                 
  employees have taken the class.                                              
  Number 214                                                                   
  DON HARRIS, Owner, Red  Dog Saloon, testified in  support of                 
  SB 83.   He said he has  required his employees to  take the                 
  training.  There  is a  benefit through insurance  discounts                 
  and reduction as well as credibility within the industry and                 
  community.  Mr. Harris said  the entire industry, statewide,                 
  should be looking  at the long  term impacts.  Education  is                 
  one  of  the most  positive  ways  to reach  control  of any                 
  problems with liquor and drugs.                                              
  JERRY MCCUTCHEON, testifying from Anchorage,  was against SB
  83.  He  said he believes the  bill doesn't do anything.   A                 
  similar program has existed  for the last ten years  and the                 
  result of the training was teaching how to push drinks.  The                 
  bill does nothing  but give a false  appearance of progress.                 
  He  discussed  forging  identification, drunk  drivers,  and                 
  changing  the  colors of  the  background of  driver license                 
  Number 300                                                                   
  PATRICK  SHARROCK, ABC Board, testified in support of SB 83.                 
  He said  the  board  was a  participant  in  supporting  the                 
  legislation a couple of years ago and still supports it.  He                 
  said  the board will  probably be charged  with drafting the                 
  regulations.   He  indicated the board  would work  with any                 
  party interested in what the content might be.                               
  JOSEPH  RILEY,  Owl  Hoot Inn,  testified  from  Slana.   He                 
  indicated  concern   that  the  mechanics  of   writing  the                 
  regulations aren't included in the bill.  He said that he is                 
  the  only  person who  tends  his  bar, but  once  in awhile                 
  another person will stand in.   Mr. Riley said if he has  to                 
  go  to  town  for groceries,  would  he  have  to close  his                 
  business because he doesn't have  somebody that has finished                 
  the approved training  course.  He  noted he might get  five                 
  customers in a day.  The bill is great for urban areas where                 
  there is a  lot of  turnover and  a lot of  customers.   Mr.                 
  Riley urged that provisions as to who pays for the training,                 
  and which courses will be approved be included in the bill.                  
  Number 361                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER  asked Mr. Sharrock if there  is a tentative                 
  outline  of what  the  rural education  would  entail.   MR.                 
  SHARROCK indicated that  the ABC Board hasn't  gotten to the                 
  point of outlining what the rural content of a program would                 
  have to be.   He noted Mr.  Riley's point is well  taken and                 
  drafts  of  the  regulations will  be  distributed  to every                 
  licensee in the state and all  other parties that might have                 
  an interest in the matter.                                                   
  GLEN SODERGREN,  testifying from Valdez, said if  there is a                 
  video program, how  much would  it cost and  how much  would                 
  yearly renewals cost for four employees.  MR. FINK explained                 
  that there are many existing courses, but indicated he isn't                 
  sure what the  costs are.  There are a number of courses and                 
  the training would  be provided through the  private sector.                 
  The ABC board  would approve  the courses.   He  said if  an                 
  owner has an  approved video tape  or course, it would  seem                 
  that  there  wouldn't  be  a  cost  after it  was  initially                 
  purchased.  Mr.  Fink explained it  would have to be  worked                 
  out in regulation.  Mr. Sodergren  said he thinks the course                 
  may work very well.                                                          
  Number 438                                                                   
  SENATOR LEMAN moved that SB 83  pass out of the Senate  HESS                 
  Committee with  individual recommendations.   There being no                 
  objection, the motion passed.                                                
  Number 442                                                                   
  There  being  no   further  business  to  come   before  the                 
  committee, SENATOR RIEGER adjourned the meeting at 2:07 p.m.                 

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