Legislature(1993 - 1994)
04/14/1994 01:40 PM L&C
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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.