Legislature(2005 - 2006)BELTZ 211

04/19/2005 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE


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01:37:46 PM Start
01:38:54 PM Confirmation Hearing(s)
01:41:46 PM Richard Heieren, Fairbanks
01:46:30 PM Gary Atwood, Fairbanks
01:47:51 PM Colleen Scanlon, Ketchikan
01:51:00 PM HB81
01:55:11 PM SB169
01:57:18 PM SB168
02:07:12 PM SB165
02:34:13 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 168 PROPERTY/CASUALTY INSURANCE REGULATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 168 Out of Committee
*+ SB 169 WORKERS' COMPENSATION RECORDS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 169(L&C) Out of Committee
*+ SB 165 CARD ROOMS & OPERATIONS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Confirmation Hearings:
Board of Veterinary Examiners
Timothy L. Bowser, D.V.M. - Soldotna
Cynthia Ann Trout, D.V.M. - Anchorage
Alfred Agree - Trapper Creek
Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy
Carla J. Bassler - Anchorage
Kenneth L. Mayer - Kenai
Christy Morse - Anchorage
State Board of Registration for
Architects, Engineers & Land Surveyors
Richard C. Heieren - Fairbanks
Harley H. Hightower - Anchorage
Mark G. Morris - Juneau
Board of Barbers and Hairdressers
Alice B. Massie - Wasilla
Labor Relations Agency
Gary A. Atwood - Fairbanks
Aaron T. Isaacs, Jr. - Klawock
Colleen E. Scanlon - Ketchikan
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
Including But Not Limited to:
= HB 81 CONTRACTOR LICENSE ENFORCEMENT
Moved SCS CSHB 81(L&C) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          SENATE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                        
                         April 19, 2005                                                                                         
                            1:37 p.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Con Bunde, Chair                                                                                                        
Senator Ralph Seekins, Vice Chair                                                                                               
Senator Ben Stevens                                                                                                             
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
Senator Bettye Davis                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Confirmation Hearings                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Board of Veterinary Examiners                                                                                                 
 Dr. Timothy L. Bowser, D.V.M. - Soldotna                                                                                       
 Dr. Cynthia Ann Trout, D.V.M. - Anchorage                                                                                      
 Alfred Agree, D.V.M. - Trappers Creek                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy                                                                                      
 Carla J. Bassler - Anchorage                                                                                                   
 Kenneth L. Mayer - Kenai                                                                                                       
 Christy Morse - Anchorage                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
State Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers and Land                                                                
Surveyors                                                                                                                     
 Richard C. Heieren - Fairbanks                                                                                                 
 Harley H. Hightower - Anchorage                                                                                                
 Mark G. Morris - Juneau                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Board of Barbers and Hairdressers                                                                                             
 Alice Massie - Wasilla                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Labor Relations Agency                                                                                                        
 Gary A. Atwood - Fairbanks                                                                                                     
 Aaron T. Isaacs, Jr. - Klawock                                                                                                 
 Colleen E. Scanlon - Ketchikan                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 81(L&C)                                                                                                   
"An  Act establishing  an  administrative  fine and  procedure  for                                                             
construction  contractors  in  certain  circumstances;  increasing                                                              
the amount of  a civil penalty for persons  acting in the capacity                                                              
of contractors  or home  inspectors;  modifying the  elements of  a                                                             
crime   involving   contractor    registration   and   residential                                                              
contractors;  modifying the  exemptions  from regulation  under  AS                                                             
08.18 for  contractors; and exempting  the administrative hearings                                                              
for imposing  an administrative  fine on  construction contractors                                                              
from  the  hearings  conducted  by  the office  of  administrative                                                              
hearings in the Department of Administration."                                                                                  
     MOVED SCS CSHB 81(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 169                                                                                                             
"An  Act  relating   to  release  of   information  in  individual                                                              
workers' compensation records for commercial purposes."                                                                         
     MOVED CSSB 169(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 168                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to insurance rate-making and form filing."                                                                     
     MOVED SB 168 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 165                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to card rooms and card operations."                                                                            
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  81                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CONTRACTOR LICENSE ENFORCEMENT                                                                                     
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) ANDERSON                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
01/19/05       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                       
01/19/05       (H)        L&C, JUD, FIN                                                                                         
01/21/05       (H)        L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                             
01/21/05       (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                          
01/21/05       (H)        MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                           
01/26/05       (H)        L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                             
01/26/05       (H)        Moved CSHB 81(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
01/26/05       (H)        MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                           
02/02/05       (H)        L&C RPT CS(L&C) NT  5DP 1NR                                                                           
02/02/05       (H)        DP: LYNN, KOTT, LEDOUX, GUTTENBERG,                                                                   
                          ANDERSON;                                                                                             
02/02/05       (H)        NR: ROKEBERG                                                                                          
02/09/05       (H)        JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                            
02/09/05       (H)        Moved CSHB 81(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/09/05       (H)        MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                           
02/11/05       (H)        JUD RPT CS(L&C) NT  3DP 3NR                                                                           
02/11/05       (H)        DP: GRUENBERG, KOTT, ANDERSON;                                                                        
02/11/05       (H)        NR: DAHLSTROM, COGHILL, MCGUIRE                                                                       
03/02/05       (H)        FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                      
03/02/05       (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                          
03/02/05       (H)        MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                           
03/07/05       (H)        FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                      
03/07/05       (H)        Moved CSHB 81(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/07/05       (H)        MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                           
03/09/05       (H)        FIN RPT CS(L&C) NT 3DP 6NR                                                                            
03/09/05       (H)        DP: HAWKER, FOSTER, MEYER;                                                                            
03/09/05       (H)        NR: MOSES, JOULE, STOLTZE, CROFT,                                                                     
                         KELLY, CHENAULT                                                                                        
03/16/05       (H)        TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                    
03/16/05       (H)        VERSION: CSHB 81(L&C)                                                                                 
03/18/05       (S)        READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                       
03/18/05       (S)        L&C, JUD                                                                                              
04/07/05       (S)        L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                              
04/07/05       (S)        Heard & Held                                                                                          
04/07/05       (S)        MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                           
04/19/05       (S)        L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 169                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: WORKERS' COMPENSATION RECORDS                                                                                      
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) THERRIAULT                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
04/11/05       (S)        READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                       
04/11/05       (S)        L&C                                                                                                   
04/19/05       (S)        L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 168                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PROPERTY/CASUALTY INSURANCE REGULATION                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): LABOR & COMMERCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
04/11/05       (S)        READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                       
04/11/05       (S)        L&C                                                                                                   
04/19/05       (S)        L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 165                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CARD ROOMS & OPERATIONS                                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) COWDERY                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
04/08/05       (S)        READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                       
04/08/05       (S)        L&C, FIN                                                                                              
04/19/05       (S)        L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR. TIMOTHY BOWSER, D.V.M.                                                                                                      
Soldotna, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Nominee to the Board of Veterinary Examiners                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CYNTHIA ANN TROUT, D.V.M.                                                                                                       
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Nominee to the Board of Veterinary Examiners                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DR. ALFRED AGREE, D.V.M.                                                                                                        
Trapper Creek, AK                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Nominee to the Board of Veterinary Examiners                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CARLA J. BASSLER                                                                                                                
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Nominee to the State Board of Public                                                                     
Accountancy                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTY MORSE                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Nominee to the State Board of Public                                                                     
Accountancy                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD C. HEIEREN                                                                                                              
Fairbanks, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Nominee to the State Board of Registration                                                               
for Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HARLEY H. HIGHTOWER                                                                                                             
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Nominee to the State Board of Registration                                                               
for Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK G. MORRIS                                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Nominee to the State Board of Registration                                                               
for Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALICE MASSEY                                                                                                                    
Wasilla, AK                                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Nominee to the Board of Barbers and                                                                      
Hairdressers                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GARY A. ATWOOD                                                                                                                  
Fairbanks, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Nominee to the Labor Relations Agency                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COLLEEN E. SCANLON                                                                                                              
Ketchikan, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Nominee to the Labor Relations Agency                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EUGENE HARNETT                                                                                                                  
Staff to Representative Anderson                                                                                                
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HB 81.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JOHN BITNEY                                                                                                                     
Alaska Homebuilders Association                                                                                                 
Juneau AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HB 81.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GENE THERRIAULT                                                                                                         
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 169.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SARAH MCNAIR GROVE, Property Casualty Actuary                                                                                   
Division of Insurance                                                                                                           
Department of Community & Economic Development                                                                                  
PO Box 110800                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK 99811-0800                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 169.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN MCKINSTER                                                                                                                 
Staff to Senator Cowdery                                                                                                        
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 168.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BRETT FRIED, Economist                                                                                                          
Department of Revenue                                                                                                           
PO Box 110400                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0400                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 168.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PERRY GREEN                                                                                                                     
Juneau AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 168.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CON BUNDE  called the  Senate  Labor and  Commerce Standing                                                            
Committee meeting  to order  at 1:37:46 PM.  Present were Senators                                                            
Davis and Chair Con Bunde. Senator Ellis arrived at 1:38:54 PM.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                    ^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CON BUNDE  announced the  first order  of business  to come                                                              
before  the committee  was consideration  of the  nominees for  the                                                             
Board of Veterinary Examiners.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
^Board of Veterinary Examiners:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
^DR. TIMOTHY L. BOWSER, D.V.M - Soldotna                                                                                        
DR.  TIMOTHY  L. BOWSER,  D.V.M.,  Soldotna  said  he  has enjoyed                                                              
being on  the board for  the last  couple of years  and is willing                                                              
to continue serving.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
^DR. CYNTHIA ANN TROUT, D.V.M - Anchorage                                                                                       
DR.  CYNTHIA ANN  TROUT, D.V.M.,  Anchorage,  said she  is looking                                                              
forward to working on the board.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
^DR. ALFRED AGREE, D.V.M., Trapper Creek                                                                                        
DR.  ALFRED  AGREE, D.V.M.,  Trapper  Creek,  said  he  is looking                                                              
forward to working on the board.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE  thanked them for  their willingness  to serve and  for                                                             
being available to testify.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
^Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^CARLA J. BASSLER, Anchorage                                                                                                    
CARLA J.  BASSLER, Anchorage,  said she  is honored to  be able  to                                                             
serve for her profession in the State of Alaska.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
^Kenneth Mayer, Kenai                                                                                                           
CHAIR BUNDE noted that Kenneth Mayer was not available today.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
^CHRISTY MORSE, Anchorage                                                                                                       
CHRISTY  MORSE,  Anchorage,  welcomed this  opportunity  to  be  of                                                             
service.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE thanked them for contributing their time to Alaska.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
^State Board  of Registration  for Architects,  Engineers and Land                                                            
Surveyors:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^RICHARD HEIEREN, Fairbanks                                                                                                     
RICHARD  HEIEREN,  Fairbanks,  said  he  feels  an obligation   for                                                             
service to  the state and  the profession that  have provided such                                                              
a successful life for him.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:41:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BETTYE  DAVIS said that  he checked "yes"  on the question                                                              
of  whether he  or  any member  of  his family  could  be affected                                                              
financially about  decisions made by this  board and she asked  him                                                             
to explain that.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. HEIEREN  explained that he  was just trying  to be honest,  but                                                             
anything he works with would affect his economics.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DAVIS asked  if he  was  concerned that  by being  on  the                                                             
board  his  visibility   would  increase,  which  would  make   his                                                             
business increase.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. HEIEREN  replied that  he hadn't  thought that  far along,  but                                                             
he thought the visibility would affect his business.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BUNDE asked  if  there was  a specific  project  that might                                                              
increase his credibility and lead to financial gain.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HEIEREN  replied   that  is  accurate.  "I  answered  it   too                                                             
literally probably."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:43:13 PM                                                                                                                      
SENATOR RALPH SEEKINS joined the committee.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE said,  "We don't want to  discourage honesty. It's  not                                                             
as common as we'd like it to be."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:43:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEN STEVENS joined the committee.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
^HARLEY HIGHTOWER, Anchorage                                                                                                    
HARLEY HIGHTOWER,  Anchorage, said he enjoyed  being in the public                                                              
process  and  has  served  on  many  boards  and  commissions   and                                                             
appreciates the opportunity to serve on this board.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
^MARK MORRIS, Juneau                                                                                                            
MARK  MORRIS, Juneau,  said  he  would like  to  give back  to  the                                                             
state and to his profession.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE thanked  them all for their  willingness to "give back                                                              
to your state."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
^Board of Barbers and Hairdressers                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
^ALICE MASSEY, Wasilla                                                                                                          
ALICE MASSEY,  Wasilla, said that she  was honored to be appointed                                                              
to  this   board  and   hoped  she   could  bring   knowledge   and                                                             
professional advice to help it carry on its business.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
^Labor Relations Agency                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
^GARY ATWOOD, Fairbanks                                                                                                         
GARY ATWOOD,  Fairbanks, said he has time  to contribute and looks                                                              
forward to serving on the board. "It could be interesting."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:46:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^AARON T. ISAACS, JR., Klawock                                                                                                  
AARON T. ISAACS,  JR., Klawock, was  traveling and unavailable  for                                                             
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
^COLLEEN SCANLON, Ketchikan                                                                                                     
COLLEEN SCANLON,  Ketchikan, said  this is her  second term on  the                                                             
Labor Board and she is glad to serve again.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE thanked them for their willingness to serve.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:47:51 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SEEKINS  moved to  forward  all  the names  to  the joint                                                              
session, which  didn't reflect an intention  by any member to vote                                                              
for  or against  them.  There were  no  objections  and it  was  so                                                             
ordered.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:48:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
              HB  81-Contractor License Enforcement                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE announced  HB 81 to be up  for consideration. He moved                                                              
CSHB 81(L&C), version L, and objected for discussion purposes.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
EUGENE  HARNETT,  staff  to  Representative  Anderson,  introduced                                                              
John Bitney, Alaska Homebuilders Association, to testify.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JOHN BITNEY,  Alaska  Homebuilders Association,  said  he has been                                                              
working with  the sponsor to address concerns  and the only change                                                              
in the CS  is deleting the clause requiring  occupancy by an owner                                                              
builder on page 5, line 6.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:51:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BUNDE removed his objection and the CS was adopted.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS  moved  to  pass  CSHB  81(L&C)  from  committee.                                                              
Senators  Ben  Stevens,  Davis,  Seekins,  Ellis  and  Chair Bunde                                                              
voted yea; and CSHB 81(L&C) was moved from committee.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
              SB 169-WORKERS' COMPENSATION RECORDS                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CON BUNDE announced SB 169 to be up for consideration.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT,  sponsor, said  SB 169 is  intended to close  a                                                             
loophole  in  the privacy  statutes  with  regards  to information                                                              
that is collected  by the Workers'  Compensation system. Currently                                                              
it makes it  illegal for an attorney  to contact an injured worker                                                              
to solicit  business to represent  that person  in the system.  But                                                             
language  does not  make  it clear  that state  agencies  have  the                                                             
power  to  withhold  certain  requests  for  information  from  the                                                             
system  that can  be used  to make  those solicitations.  The bill                                                              
does   not  intend   to  inhibit   disclosure  of   public  record                                                              
information regarding  the specific claim  to a newspaper reporter                                                              
or an  insurer  seeking names  of employers  who are  uninsured  to                                                             
provide the  workers' compensation  insurance. It  just intends  to                                                             
keep the individual's information from being sold.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  gave  the  committee  some background  saying                                                              
that  an  injured  Alaska  worker  was contacted  by  out-of-state                                                              
attorneys who  had received information  about his claim. They  did                                                             
not take  his case,  because, he surmised,  it was  not for enough                                                              
money. Senator Therriault said:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     This is just  a clear case of the  type of activity that                                                                   
     we don't  want to happen and if  we want to prevent that                                                                   
     from  happening, we  need to make  it very  clear in the                                                                   
     statute  that  the state  agency,  and  specifically the                                                                   
     Workers'   Comp   system,   can   refuse   to   disburse                                                                   
     information   that  would  be  used   by  these  outside                                                                   
     sources.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:55:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   SEEKINS  proposed   an   immediate  effective   date   as                                                             
Amendment 1.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT said that was okay with him.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS  moved   conceptual  Amendment  1  to  insert   an                                                             
immediate effective  date. There were  no objections and Amendment                                                              
1 was adopted.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:56:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   SEEKINS  moved   CSSB   169(L&C)  from   committee  with                                                              
individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal  notes. Senators                                                              
Ben  Stevens, Seekins,  Davis,  Ellis and  Chair Bunde  voted yea;                                                              
and CSSB 169(L&C) moved from committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          SB 168-PROPERTY/CASUALTY INSURANCE REGULATION                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:57:18 PM At ease 1:57:55 PM                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CON BUNDE announced SB 168 to be up for consideration.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARAH  MCNAIR  GROVE,   Property  Casualty  Actuary,  Division   of                                                             
Insurance,  explained that  last  year the  director was  asked  to                                                             
work with industry  representatives to  make changes to the review                                                              
process  and to move  away from  department approval  for rate  and                                                             
form filings submitted by insurers to the division.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
The primary  change from  the current  process is  that some types                                                              
of  rate and  form  filings  were moved  away  from  requiring  the                                                             
division  to approve them  before an  insurer can  use them. There                                                              
is  still  the  same  statutory  requirement  that  rates   not  be                                                             
inadequate,  excessive or  unfairly discriminatory.  Hopefully  the                                                             
process  will be  a little bit  easier for  both the  division  and                                                             
for the insurers to get new products into the market.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE asked if this is a housekeeping measure.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GROVE   replied  that   it's  a   little  bit   more  than   a                                                             
housekeeping  measure, because  it makes some  significant changes                                                              
to the way things are done. The division supports it.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:59:50 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DAVIS  moved  to pass  SB  168  from committee.  Senators                                                              
Davis, Ben  Stevens and  Chair Bunde  voted yea; and  SB 168 moved                                                              
from committee.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:00:51 PM At ease 2:04:36 PM                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                 SB 165-CARD ROOMS & OPERATIONS                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE announced SB 165 to be up for consideration.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN MCKINSTER,  staff to Senator Cowdery,  explained that SB  165                                                             
allows  card rooms to  exist in  a controlled  public environment,                                                              
but only non-bank games can be played such as poker and rummy.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He  said there  is a  growing popularity  for  these games  in  the                                                             
country  and the  state  and crime  goes  with  hand in  hand  with                                                             
underground  games; but  in a public  legal environment  the games                                                              
will be  regulated and  followed closely  by state  officials.  The                                                             
state would charge  a $10,000 yearly fee  per table with a $25,000                                                              
application fee. The yearly fee would not be prorated.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
This bill  addresses  who can  and who  cannot hold  a license  and                                                             
limits  the number  of  licenses to  1 per  30,000  in population.                                                              
These games  are allowed  at home so  this is  not necessarily  and                                                             
expansion  of  gaming,  but "We're  just  saying  in  a controlled                                                              
limited  environment,  you can  play  in  a public  venue  that  is                                                             
limited by the state for revenue and for criminal activity."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:07:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BUNDE  said it  is legal to  gamble with cards  for money  in                                                             
Alaska as  long as the  house doesn't  take a rake  or some of  the                                                             
money for operating costs.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCKINSTER  agreed, but  added that the  clarification needs  to                                                             
be made  that there is a  difference between a  rake and the house                                                              
actually having a stake in the game.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     You're  not  playing  odds against  the  house  like you                                                                   
     would at  blackjack. The  odds are even  for every other                                                                   
     table  and  they're   physically  playing  against  each                                                                   
     other  instead  of the  house.  Basically,  it's  just a                                                                   
     rental fee for the table or otherwise known as rake.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:08:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BUNDE  said the significant  change this  bill would make  is                                                             
it would  allow someone who  has organized the  game to charge  for                                                             
table rental.  He expressed a conflict in  that he plays poker and                                                              
asked if this bill would allow tournaments.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MCKINSTER replied  that it  doesn't  address that  except  for                                                             
charity.  Senator Cowdery  thought it  best to  leave  that to  the                                                             
department to develop in regulations.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:10:54 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COWDERY  noticed that  the committee  had an advertisement                                                              
for a  world poker tour  with players paying  $15,000 for a chance                                                              
to win $1.7 million.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCKINSTER  explained that the maximum  dollar amounts would  be                                                             
left up to the Department of Revenue.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:11:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  BUNDE said  the bill  focuses on  poker and  asked if  other                                                             
games, like cribbage, are covered.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCKINSTER  said originally  the sponsor didn't  intend to name                                                              
the  games  in  the   bill,  but  wanted  to  leave  that  to   the                                                             
department.  However, some  people wanted reassurances  about what                                                              
games  would  be  allowed under  this  statute  and  they  are  now                                                             
listed as poker, pan, rummy and cribbage.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:13:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BUNDE asked how wagers are addressed.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MCKINSTER  replied  the  department  could  decide  how  much                                                              
wagers would be, but he envisioned $1 - $4.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:14:14 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DAVIS was concerned  about money  made by  people who  own                                                             
the gaming rooms.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCKINSTER  said this bill doesn't  address that, but a sponsor                                                              
substitute could. The department would decide.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DAVIS asked how many new jobs would this provide.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCKINSTER  replied that  it takes  7.5 people to  run a table,                                                              
not considering food and beverage services.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE asked what rates are in other areas.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MCKINSTER replied  that  other  areas charge  a  fairly small                                                              
percentage based on the size of the game that is played.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:16:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  BUNDE  asked  if  he  thought  serving  alcohol  should   be                                                             
allowed in card rooms.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCKINSTER  replied  that serving  alcohol is  not addressed  in                                                             
the  bill. However,  a couple  of  people he  talked to  said they                                                              
wouldn't  need  alcohol  to  sell  this  as  an establishment   and                                                             
that's obviously the case now.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He  noted that  state policy  does  not allow  free alcohol  to  be                                                             
served  as  an incentive  like  in  a Las  Vegas  casino,  but  the                                                             
Department of Revenue could decide that, also.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE asked what the fiscal impact to the state is.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
BRETT  FRIED,  Economist,  Department  of  Revenue  (DOR), replied                                                              
that it  is difficult  to generate a  number. He  doesn't know  how                                                             
many  card rooms  or tables  would end  up in  the card  rooms.  He                                                             
used the  2000 census for  a maximum allowable  number and divided                                                              
that by  30,000 and came  up with  13. He used  the maximum number                                                              
of card tables  per room allowed in Washington  state, which is  15                                                             
and 6.7  as the average  number of  gaming employees  per table  to                                                             
derive  an estimate  of $2.5  million in  the first  year and  $2.1                                                             
million in the second year.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:20:33 PM                                                                                                                    
PERRY GREEN,  Alaskan card player,  said the bill  is well written                                                              
and is  very stringent for a  card room. "It's  a wonderful way  of                                                             
doing it."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He expressed  that  there is  a lot of  interest in  this activity                                                              
and  compared  it to  golf  that  has about  2,000  pros  that  are                                                             
playing for $100 million in prize money per year. He said:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Poker has  blossomed so much that  today the prize money                                                                   
     in  tournaments  is around  $700  million.  With Senator                                                                   
     Cowdery's  bill  we're not  talking about  this  kind of                                                                   
     money.  But   I'm  just  saying   that  that  is  what's                                                                   
     happening.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He said  that gambling  happens in  Alaskan waters  on tour ships.                                                              
"So, if  you think you're  stopping gambling, you're  not - by  not                                                             
voting for this."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BUNDE  pointed  out  that  cruise  ships  can  gamble  only                                                              
outside of  state waters and  asked what rake  is standard for  the                                                             
industry per game.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. GREEN replied  that California charges  for poker rooms get  $3                                                             
or $4 to  host one game and  it takes three  or four people to  run                                                             
one table.   They each need a dealer,  security, janitors, relief,                                                              
floor  supervisors,  cashiers, maintenance,  rush  people  and  on-                                                             
call people.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BUNDE asked  how many  games  are played  per hour  and  how                                                             
long a day is.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GREEN answered  that  card rooms  generally  take in  $90  per                                                             
hour per table  - gross - and the games  can run for any number  of                                                             
hours. "It depends. Games start and break up and start again."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:28:02 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DAVIS  noted that  Senator Cowdery had  pointed out flyers                                                              
describing all  the money that can be  made playing poker and said                                                              
those big games are happening here now.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY  added that he could find  15 underground games  in                                                             
Anchorage  per  night  if  he  wanted  to. "It's  unregulated   and                                                             
that's  a fact. I  think it's  a recreational  game.  Even my  wife                                                             
has caught on to it."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:30:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BUNDE  said TV  gambling is  a growing phenomenon.  He asked                                                              
if  on-line gambling  is  legal  in Alaska  if  it's headquartered                                                              
somewhere else.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COWDERY  responded  that  he  thought  on-line  games  are                                                             
offshore.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. GREEN  said about  90 percent of  on-line poker  goes to Costa                                                              
Rica, Dominican  Republic, London, and  other tax haven places.  He                                                             
knew of a $7,200,000 tournament that was out of Aruba.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:31:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  BUNDE asked  if convicted  felons would  be allowed  to  run                                                             
games.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY responded:                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Before  anybody  could  get a  license,  you  might hope                                                                   
     that  they would  have to  be cleared  of any  felony or                                                                   
     any  crimes  in their  past  just  to try  to  keep this                                                                   
     above board  to be run by individuals  or people who are                                                                   
     aboveboard  and  citizens....  I  think  anyone  who  is                                                                   
     going  to open  one  of these  establishments  should be                                                                   
     pretty up and coming people, not convicted felons.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. GREEN added that on-line sites charge $3 per game and that:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     I  know in games  where you're  playing for  money, they                                                                   
     have  no brick  and mortar.  By  brick and  mortar, they                                                                   
     don't  have a  plant  or facility.  All  they have  is a                                                                   
     computer line.  And I noticed when   "Poker Stars" dealt                                                                   
     their  one-billionth  hand -  one-billionth hand  - they                                                                   
     gave  away $100,000  whether you  were playing  for five                                                                   
     and  ten  cents  or  you  were  playing  for  $1,000  or                                                                   
     %10,000....  They are just  coining money  and good luck                                                                   
     to them.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE said that there were no further questions and closed                                                                
the hearing. The committee would wait for the CS. He then                                                                       
adjourned the meeting at 2:34:13 PM.                                                                                          

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