Legislature(1999 - 2000)
04/20/1999 01:37 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 20, 1999 1:37 P.M. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Jerry Mackie, Chairman Senator Tim Kelly, Vice Chairman Senator Dave Donley Senator Loren Leman Senator Lyman Hoffman MEMBERS ABSENT All Members Present COMMITTEE CALENDAR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 123(L&C) "An Act relating to the exemption from the requirement for payment of minimum wage and overtime compensation for certain volunteers of nonprofit organizations; exempting individuals who provide ski patrol services on a voluntary basis from the requirement for payment of minimum wage and overtime compensation; and providing for an effective date." -MOVED SCSHB 123(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 83(JUD)(title am) "An Act relating to certain securities occupations and investment pools; relating, with regard to the Alaska Securities Act, to federal covered securities, the registration of securities, the general exemptions for securities and transactions, Internet offers of securities and transactions, file confidentiality, petitions to superior court by the administrator to reduce civil penalties to judgment, time limits for bringing court actions for violations, administrator-established fees and administrator-required reimbursements, consent to service, title, sales, purchases, offers to sell, and offers to purchase; exempting certain violations of the Alaska Securities Act from criminal penalties; amending or repealing certain current definitions in the Alaska Securities Act; providing new Alaska Securities Act definitions for certain securities occupations, for certain federal statutes, and for the terms advisory client,' advisory fee,' advisory services,' clients who are natural persons,' federal covered security,' investment advisory business,' investment advisory contract,' NASDAQ,' notice filing,' place of business,' principal place of business,' securities business,' substantial portion of the business,' and supervised person'; and providing for an effective date." MOVED CSHB 83(JUD)(title am) OUT OF COMMITTEE SENATE BILL NO. 141 "An Act relating to construction contracts and subcontractors; relating to design- build construction contracts; and providing for an effective date." -MOVED CSSB 141(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 21 Relating to workers and family members of workers exposed to radiation during the Amchitka nuclear tests. -MOVED SJR 21 OUT OF COMMITTEE PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION HB 123 - See Labor and Commerce committee minutes dated 4/13/99. HB 83 - No previous action to consider. SB 141 - No previous action to consider. SJR 21 - No previous action to consider. WITNESS REGISTER Representative Rokeberg State Capitol Bldg. Juneau, AK 99811-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported CS to HB 123. Mr. Paul Grossi, Director Division of Workers' Compensation Department of Labor P.O. Box 15512 Juneau, AK 99802-5512 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HB 123 Mr. Chris Ross National Ski Patrol P.O. Box 92207 Anchorage, AK 99509 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HB 123. Mr. Terry Elder, Director Division of Banking, Securities, and Corporations P.O. Box 110807 Juneau, AK 99811-0907 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 83. Mr. Michael Kerr, UAS Intern Senator Loren Leman State Capitol Bldg. Juneau, AK 99811-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 141 for Senator Leman, sponsor. Mr. Mark O'Brien, Chief Contracts Officer Department of Transportation 3132 Channel Dr. Juneau, AK 99801-7898 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 141. Mr. Michael Kenny Teamsters Local 959 5203 E 34th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99503 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 21. Ms. Pamela Miller, Program Director Alaska Community Action Toxic 135 Christensen Dr. Anchorage, AK 99501 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 21. Mr. Devin Dougherty, Attorney Alaska Laborers Union Anchorage, AK 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 21. Ms. Bev Aleck Anchorage, AK POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 21. Mr. Bob Hadrick Aleutian Pribiloff Island Association Anchorage, AK POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 21. Mr. Walt Parker U.S. Arctic Research Commission POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 21. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 99-15, SIDE A Number 001 HB 123-MINIMUM WAGE & OVERTIME EXEMPTIONS CHAIRMAN MACKIE called the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee meeting to order at 1:37 p.m. and announced HB 123 to be up for consideration. He said that Senator Leman had worked with the sponsor on language regarding nonprofit activities. SENATOR LEMAN moved to adopt the CS (Craemer4/20/99) to HB 123. There were no objections and it was so ordered. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG concurred with the definition of nonprofit activities in the CS. MR. PAUL GROSSI, Direction, Division of Workmens' Compensation, said that Section (a) of AS 23.32.30 excludes a number of categories of workers from Workmens' Compensation and this is usually what the Board goes by for coverage. If they are not specifically excluded, the Board assumes they are covered. SENATOR KELLY asked if most ski patrols in Alaska were covered now under Workmens' Compensation. MR. GROSSI answered that he didn't know about all of them, but Alyeska and Eaglecrest are covered. He explained that the employer/employee relationship test is different for the feds and other various statutes. The Workmens' Compensation Board has its own test. MR. CHRIS ROSS, National Ski Patrol, said that he understands all patrollers and operators in Alaska are covered. They don't see that this bill would change that relationship. They do not intend to change to status quo with Workmens' Compensation. Number 100 SENATOR LEMAN moved to pass SDSHB 123(L&C) from committee. There were no objections and it was so ordered. HB 83-ALASKA SECURITIES ACT CHAIRMAN MACKIE announced HB 83 to be up for consideration. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said this bill has received a lot of work in the other body. He said this is a modernization and update of our security law. SENATOR MACKIE asked if there was any opposition to the bill as it is currently written. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG answered that there was none and he had contacted all people in the securities industry. CHAIRMAN MACKIE asked Mr. Elder, Division of Banking, to give the committee an overview of why they are losing federal funds. MR. TERRY ELDER, Director, Division of Banking, Securities, and Corporations, explained if we did not pass this bill bringing us into compliance with federal law, we would lose the ability to require federal public securities, mostly mutual funds, to file notices and pay notice fees. Those are currently in the range of $4 - $5 million and have been growing at a 14 percent annual rate over the last several years. It would be a significant impact on the general fund if this were not passed before October 1999 which is when our authority to require that filing expires. He noted how both the House and Senate have been working very hard this session to find $40 million to cut in the budget and this bill represents 10 percent of that. Number 180 The other major impact is on the investment advisory industry, because it changes the way investment advisors are regulated. In the past, they registered with the SEC and with states. Now, only large investment advisors register with SEC; smaller investors only register with the state. If we don't have effective language in our Securities Act to regulate investment advisors, especially those that are registered only out-of-state, they would essentially be unregulated. In our state, we have about 310 large investment advisors and about 40 smaller investment advisors registered. We have over 300 investment advisor representatives that are registered, also. Without this legislation, we would no longer be able to register them. In addition, it's necessary for us to come into compliance with federal laws. Also, since we are doing a fairly major upgrade to the Securities Act, other changes are being made which would benefit small businesses and their access to capital. One example of that is a new exemption for entrepreneurs who are seeking capital from accredited investors which are defined by federal law as being institutions and wealthy individuals. This would give them an exemption and the ability to use the Internet for advertising. If this bill passes, Alaska entrepreneurs will be able to utilize the small business administration case net, an electronic matching service. Right now they cannot use that. SENATOR LEMAN moved to pass HB 83 from committee with individual recommendations. There were no objections and it was so ordered. SB 141-PROCUREMENT: CONTRACTS/SUBCONTRACTS MR. JEREMY KERR, UAS Intern for Senator Leman, said SB 141 was introduced at the request of DOTPF to give the Department greater flexibility in contracts known as "design build", where the owner (in this case, the state) chooses a contractor that will build as well as design a project. Two examples of this are the M/V Kennicott and the Whittier Tunnel. Usually, the owner picks a design and then has the contractor build it. This bill is in the best interest of the State and will only affect state contracts. Current law states that construction contractors must list the subcontractors they plan on using within five days of the award of the contract. Because of the nature of design build contracts, it is not always possible for the contractor to identify the needed subcontractors. This provides flexibility to DOTPF to allow contractors to provide that information at a later date. This bill also changes a request to change contractors to be in writing. MR. KERR said there is no opposition from either the design or construction community that they know of. CHAIRMAN MACKIE asked what was the fiscal impact of this bill. MR. KERR said there were zero fiscal impacts. Number 320 MR. MARK O'BRIEN, Chief Contracts Officer, DOTPF, said that the two issues they are trying to address are design/build construction contracts where they cannot list subcontractors within five days., because in a lot of cases, they don't know whether it's going to be a piling contractor or a concrete contractor for the design of the foundation of a building, for instance. The second thing this does is allow them to substitute or add subcontractors when it's in the state's best interest. An example of this would be discovering that you need an asbestos or lead abatement contractor after starting the project. SENATOR LEMAN asked how often the Department uses the design/build approach versus the more conventional approach. MR. O'BRIEN answered rarely. He is aware of only two last year and about five in the last three years. A number of them have been sand storage buildings. SENATOR LEMAN said the CS has a new Section 3 which rewords language to give comfort to the design community about what conditions in AS 36.30.115 may still apply. It doesn't change any of the substance. SENATOR LEMAN moved to adopt the Banister CS to SB 141. There were no objections and it was so ordered. SENATOR LEMAN moved to pass CSSB 141 from committee with individual recommendations with the zero fiscal note. There were no objections and it was so ordered. SJR 21-AMCHITKA ISL NUCLEAR TEST SITE WORKERS CHAIRMAN MACKIE announced SJR 21 to be up for consideration. MR. MICHAEL KENNY, Teamsters Local 959, said they had members working on Amchitka during nuclear testing and have noticed quite a few health problems amongst those members and support this resolution. MS. PAM MILLER, Alaska Community Action Toxic, strongly supported SJR 21 and said she is a biologist. As a member of the Amchitka Technical Advisory Group, she is familiar with the great difficulties workers and their families have had in finding the truth about radiation at Amchitka during the years following the nuclear attack. There are numerous reports of cancers and other health problems after employment on the island. She has reviewed 20,000 documents and has found documentation of radioactive sources and leakage that workers were likely exposed to. The Department of Energy still withholds classified documents that would provide additional and much needed information for assessing environmental human health practices. The Worker's Medical Surveillance Program will provide workers and their families information that is essential to understanding the health impacts of nuclear tests in Amchitka. She asked the members of the Legislature to work diligently to resolve worker compensation claims in litigation relating to Amchitka workers and their families. MR. KEVIN DOUGHERTY, Alaska Laborers Union, supported SJR 21. There is a need to have a just solution to the workers health issues that come out of Amchitka. He observed that they are asking for equal treatment for Alaskans who were in the private sector who worked on Amchitka with those who worked in the federal sector. They did not get the monitoring or Workmen's Compensation that the federal workers got. Also, the other nuclear test sites in the lower 48 have had medical monitoring surveillance done and Alaskans should have equal treatment. Number 424 MS. BEV ALECK supported SJR 21. She said the work that Congressman Young and Senator Stevens and Senator Murkowski are doing would be well enhanced with this resolution. MR. BOB HADRICK, Aleutian Pribiloff Island Association, supported SJR 21. MR. WALTER PARKER, Commissioner, U.S. Arctic Research Commission, supported SJR 21, said he was the Commission's representative on the Amchitka Advisory Group since it was formed to examine the allegations that continue to come up on Amchitka. Number 451 SENATOR LEMAN moved to pass SJR 21 from committee with individual recommendations. There were no objections and it was so ordered. CHAIRMAN MACKIE adjourned the meeting at 2:12 p.m.