Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/19/1993 01:33 PM HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE 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 servers. 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 pictures. 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.