Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/14/1994 01:40 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
               SENATE LABOR AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE                             
                         April 14, 1994                                        
                           1:40 P.M.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Senator Tim Kelly, Chairman                                                   
 Senator Steve Rieger, Vice Chairman                                           
 Senator Bert Sharp                                                            
 Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                    
 Senator Judith Salo                                                           
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
 None                                                                          
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 403                                                            
 "An Act requiring that automobile liability insurance include                 
 coverage for uninsured or underinsured motor vehicles and an offer            
 of policy limits for that coverage equal to coverage voluntarily              
 purchased for bodily injury or death; and providing for an                    
 effective date."                                                              
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 358(STA)                                                
 "An Act allowing a mobile home owner to obtain a certificate of               
 title from the Department of Public Safety."                                  
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 300(JUD) am                                             
 "An Act relating to civil liability for commercial recreational               
 activities; and providing for an effective date."                             
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 330(TRA)                                                
 "An Act relating to the use of natural gas as a motor vehicle fuel            
 in state-owned vehicles and to the Department of Transportation and           
 Public Facilities' authority to participate in joint ventures                 
 related to natural gas."                                                      
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 386(L&C) am                                             
 "An Act relating to the retirement rights of temporary hourly                 
 employees hired by the legislature."                                          
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
                                                                               
 HB 403 - See Labor & Commerce minutes dated 4/12/94.                          
                                                                               
 HB 358 - See Labor & Commerce minutes dated 4/12/94.                          
                                                                               
 HB 300 - No previous action to record.                                        
                                                                               
 HB 330 - See Transportation minutes dated 4/5/94.                             
                                                                               
 HB 386 - See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 4/14/94.                        
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
 Lynda Giguere, Legislative Aide                                               
 Representative Bill Hudson                                                    
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Ak. 99801-1182                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on HB 300.                                   
                                                                               
 Dennis Mestas                                                                 
 Trail Warriors                                                                
 745 W 4th.                                                                    
 Anchorage, Ak. 99515                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposed HB 300.                                        
                                                                               
 Karen Cowert, Director                                                        
 Alaska Visitors Association                                                   
 P.O. Box 102323                                                               
 Anchorage, Ak. 99510                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported HB 300.                                      
                                                                               
 Roy Daw                                                                       
 23120 Live Alder                                                              
 Chugiak, Ak. 99567                                                            
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposed HB 300                                         
                                                                               
 Clark Gruening                                                                
 Alaska Visitors Association                                                   
 Juneau, Ak. 99801                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported HB 300.                                      
                                                                               
 Nancy Lethcoe, President                                                      
 Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism Association                          
 P.O. Box 1353                                                                 
 Valdez, Ak. 99686                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported HB 300.                                      
                                                                               
 Tim Benintendi, Legislative Aide                                              
 Representative Carl Moses                                                     
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Ak. 99801-1182                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on HB 386.                                   
                                                                               
 Karla Schofield, Deputy Director                                              
 Division of Administrative Services                                           
 Legislative Affairs Agency                                                    
 130 Seward St.                                                                
 Juneau, Ak. 99801-2179                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on HB 386.                                   
 Dr. Roger Eichman                                                             
 9342 Glacier Hwy.                                                             
 Juneau, Ak. 99801                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Nominee for Board of Dentistry.                        
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
  TAPE 94-28, SIDE A                                                           
 Number 001                                                                    
  CHAIRMAN KELLY called the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee                
 meeting to order at 1:40 p.m. and announced  HB 403  (AUTOMOTIVE              
 LIABILITY INSURANCE COVERAGE) to be up for consideration.  He said            
 they had received a letter of support from the Administration.                
                                                                               
 SENATOR SHARP moved to pass HB 403 from committee with individual             
 recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so ordered.             
 SENATOR KELLY announced  HB 358  (MOBILE HOME CERTIFICATES OF TITLE)     )    
 to be up for consideration.                                                   
                                                                               
 JOSH FINK, Legislative Aide to Senator Kelly, explained the CS.               
                                                                               
 SENATOR RIEGER moved to adopt the CS to HB 358.  There were no                
 objections and it was so ordered.                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR RIEGER moved to pass CSHB 358 from committee with                     
 individual recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so           
 ordered.                                                                      
 SENATOR KELLY announced  HB 300  (LIABILITY: COMMERCIAL RECREATION            
 ACTIVITY) to be up for consideration.                                         
                                                                               
 LYNDA GIGUERE, Legislative Aide to Representative Hudson, said they           
 introduced HB 300 to establish the responsibilities of persons who            
 operate commercial outdoor recreational activities and persons who            
 participate in those activities.  It, in no way, relieves                     
 recreational businesses or operators from liability.  It simply               
 establishes a framework that may decrease uncertainty regarding a             
 legal responsibility for injuries that result in participation in             
 these activities.                                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR LINCOLN asked what commercial recreational means exactly -            
 does one have to pay and does it have to be outdoor.  MS. GIGUERE             
 said this addresses outside wilderness activities such as kayaking            
 and parasailing, etc.                                                         
                                                                               
 DENNIS MESTAS, Trail Warriors, said HB 300 goes farther than it               
 should to establish what is intended.  As written, it applies to              
 airlines and air charters, ferries, turbos, tour buses, river                 
 boats, etc.                                                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR KELLY commented that there wasn't much detail in this bill            
 regarding strengthening safety procedures that operators would have           
 to comply with as with the skiing liability bill.                             
                                                                               
 Number 242                                                                    
                                                                               
 KAREN COWERT, Director, AVA, strongly supported HB 300.  She said             
 the visitor industry has seen a lot of growth over the past 10                
 years.  Visitors are wanting to participate more in the adventurous           
 side of Alaska.  This legislation does not intend to absolve the              
 operator from neglect.                                                        
                                                                               
 ROY DAW opposed HB 300, because as written, it would do harm to the           
 state.                                                                        
                                                                               
 CLARK GRUENING, Alaska Visitors Association, said there is some               
 confusion on whether this bill might be trying to establish                   
 immunity for operators.  The only place immunity is mentioned is in           
 reference to the ski liability bill and a section in Title 9                  
 dealing with unimproved land.  This bill does not deal with                   
 immunity at all.  It sets out responsibilities for participants and           
 operators.  He said there is no intention to cover common carriage            
 transportation.                                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO said even though the bill doesn't establish immunity,            
 it does establish a shared responsibility.                                    
                                                                               
 MR. GRUENING agreed.                                                          
                                                                               
 NANCY LETHCOE, President, Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism            
 Association, said they see this bill as an accident prevention                
 bill.  It sets minimum guidelines for commercial recreation                   
 businesses, establishes responsibility of the participants                    
 themselves, gives some protection against insurance scams, and it             
 might, in the long run, reduce insurance rates.                               
                                                                               
 As new people enter the industry, it is important to establish                
 minimum standards and guidelines.                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR KELLY said he would put this bill aside so they could look            
 at some possible amendments.                                                  
 SENATOR KELLY announced a recess from 2:13 - 2:23 p.m.                        
 SENATOR KELLY announced  HB 330  (FUEL STATE AUTO FLEET WITH NATURAL     L    
 GAS) to be up for consideration.                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN, Sponsor, said this bill would go a long             
 way toward correcting air pollution in cities by burning a clean              
 burning fuel to reduce the C O content in the air.  This would be             
 step 1 in the effective use of natural gas or alternate fuel.  In             
 addition to more mileage, the wear on engines is greatly reduced.             
 He said conversions are available.  The problem now is that we                
 don't have the tankage or the refueling facilities.                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR SHARP moved to pass CS for HB 330 (TRA) from committee with           
 individual recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so           
 ordered.                                                                      
 SENATOR KELLY announced  HB 386  (RETIREMENT RTS:HRLY LEGISLATIVE             
 EMPLOYEES) to be up for consideration.                                        
                                                                               
 TIM BENINTENDI, Legislative Aide to Representative Moses, said HB
 386 allows the Legislative Affairs Agency to hire temporary hourly            
 employees without having to provide retirement benefits.  The                 
 proposed CS also allows flexibility so that retirees can take some            
 of these temporary part time jobs without worrying about their                
 retirement being modified or disrupted.                                       
                                                                               
  TAPE 94-28, SIDE   B                                                         
  Number 580                                                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO asked if there was a position from the employees                 
 association.  MR. BENINTENDI said there was none and all the other            
 agencies of state government have the option to hire this way.                
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO asked if there was a regulation on total number of               
 hours to be a temporary.  MR. BENINTENDI said he wasn't aware of              
 one.                                                                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR RIEGER asked if you get the same amount of pay with or                
 without the retirement benefit if you are temporary.                          
                                                                               
 KARLA SCHOFIELD, Deputy Director, Administrative Services,                    
 explained that under this bill, the employer would not have to pay            
 employer charges on it and the employee wouldn't have to pay 6.75%            
 of their salary into the retirement system.  She explained that the           
 positions include summer tour guides and packers to move the                  
 legislators back and forth.  She said it would save the employer              
 money and give an employee the option of not being in a retirement            
 system with a temporary job.                                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR RIEGER moved to adopt the CS to HB 386.  There were no                
 objection and it was so ordered.                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR RIEGER moved to pass CSHB 386 (L&C) from committee with               
 individual recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so           
 ordered.                                                                      
 SENATOR KELLY adjourned the meeting at 3:41 p.m.                              
                                                                               

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