Legislature(2011 - 2012)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

01/31/2012 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 155 EXTENDING CERTAIN BOARDS & COMMISSIONS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 155 Out of Committee
+ SB 150 MILITARY TRAINING CREDIT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 150(STA) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
= SB 158 REAL ESTATE SALES LICENSEES
Moved CSSB 158(L&C) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          SENATE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                        
                        January 31, 2012                                                                                        
                           1:31 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dennis Egan, Chair                                                                                                      
Senator Joe Paskvan, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Linda Menard                                                                                                            
Senator Bettye Davis                                                                                                            
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 158                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to  the Real  Estate Commission;  and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 158(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 150                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to applying  military education,  training, and                                                               
service   credit   to    occupational   licensing   and   certain                                                               
postsecondary  education  and employment  training  requirements;                                                               
and providing for a temporary  occupational license for qualified                                                               
military service members."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 150(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 155                                                                                                             
"An Act extending the termination  dates of the Board of Nursing,                                                               
the  Board  of  Dental  Examiners,   the  Board  of  Barbers  and                                                               
Hairdressers,  the  Big  Game   Commercial  Services  Board,  the                                                               
Alcoholic Beverage Control Board,  and the Alaska Seismic Hazards                                                               
Safety Commission; and providing for an effective date."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 155 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 158                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REAL ESTATE SALES LICENSEES                                                                                        
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) EGAN                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
01/17/12       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/17/12       (S)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
01/26/12       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
01/26/12       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/26/12       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 150                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MILITARY TRAINING CREDIT                                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): WIELECHOWSKI                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
01/17/12       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/13/12                                                                               
01/17/12       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/17/12       (S)       STA, L&C                                                                                               
01/24/12       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
01/24/12       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/24/12       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
01/26/12       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
01/26/12       (S)       Moved CSSB 150(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
01/26/12       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
01/27/12       (S)       STA RPT CS  3DP 1NR    NEW TITLE                                                                       
01/27/12       (S)       DP: WIELECHOWSKI, PASKVAN, MEYER                                                                       
01/27/12       (S)       NR: GIESSEL                                                                                            
01/31/12       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 155                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: EXTENDING CERTAIN BOARDS & COMMISSIONS                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF LEG BUDGET & AUDIT                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
01/17/12       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/17/12       (S)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
01/31/12       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DANA OWEN                                                                                                                       
Staff to the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee                                                                                
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Explained changes in CSSB 158 (L&C).                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 150.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL O'HARE, Deputy Director                                                                                                 
Homeland Security/Emergency Management                                                                                          
Department of Military & Veterans Affairs (DMVA)                                                                                
Ft. Richardson, AK                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: Was available to answer questions on SB 150.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MARK SAN SOUCI                                                                                                                  
Department of Defense Regional Liaison for Military Families for                                                                
the Northwest, working for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of                                                                    
Defense for Military Family & Community Policy                                                                                  
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 150.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
RIC DAVIDGE                                                                                                                     
Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 904                                                                                        
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 150.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS CHRISTENSEN, Associate Vice President                                                                                     
State Relations                                                                                                                 
University of Alaska                                                                                                            
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER, Chairman                                                                                                 
Legislative Budget and Audit Committee (LB&A)                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 155.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
KRISTIN CURTIS, Legislative Auditor                                                                                             
Division of Legislative Audit                                                                                                   
Legislative Affairs Agency                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 155.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ROD COMBELLICK, Deputy Director                                                                                                 
Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys                                                                                  
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)                                                                                           
Fairbanks, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Available to answer questions on SB 155.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL O'HARE, Deputy Director                                                                                                 
Homeland Security and Emergency Management                                                                                      
Department of Military & Veterans Affairs (DMVA)                                                                                
Fort Richardson, AK                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 155.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SHIRLEY GIFFORD, Director                                                                                                       
Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC)                                                                                          
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 155.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
THOR STACEY, Lobbyist                                                                                                           
Alaska Professional Hunters Association                                                                                         
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION   STATEMENT:   Supported   SB  155,   specifically   the                                                             
reauthorization of the Big Game and Commercial Services Board.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
BOB SWENSON, State Geologist and Director                                                                                       
State Geological and Geophysical Surveys                                                                                        
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)                                                                                           
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 155.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DON HABEGER, Director                                                                                                           
Division  of Corporations,  Business  and Professional  Licensing                                                               
Department  of  Commerce,   Community  and  Economic  Development                                                               
(DCCED)                                                                                                                         
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions relating to SB 155.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:31:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DENNIS EGAN  called the Senate Labor  and Commerce Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at  1:31 p.m. All members were present                                                               
at the call to order.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
               SB 158-REAL ESTATE SALES LICENSEES                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:32:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR EGAN announced SB 158 to  be up for consideration. He asked                                                               
his staff to explain the committee substitute (CS).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DANA  OWEN, staff  to the  Senate Labor  and Commerce  Committee,                                                               
said the only change in SB 158 was  on page 3, line 16, where the                                                               
word  "board" was  changed  to "commission",  because  it was  an                                                               
incorrect term. There were no other changes.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PASKVAN   moved  to  bring  CSSB   158(L&C)[labeled  27-                                                               
LS1214\M] before the committee for purposes of discussion.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EGAN objected. He found no further discussion.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PASKVAN moved  to report CSSB 158(L&C),  version \M, from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
note if any. There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                SB 150-MILITARY TRAINING CREDIT                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:34:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR EGAN announced  SB 150 to be up for  consideration. He said                                                               
that they would take up CSSB 150(STA) [labeled 27-LS1117\T].                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:34:54 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease from 1:34:54 to 1:36:22 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:36:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI,   sponsor  of   SB  150,   explained  that                                                               
separating  service members  leave the  military with  documented                                                               
training, experience  and education that often  prepares them for                                                               
civilian employment.  However, this  documentation is  not always                                                               
used by state entities to  qualify them for licenses required for                                                               
their  occupation  or  to  provide  them  with  academic  credit.                                                               
According to  data prepared by  the Department of  Defense (DOD),                                                               
as  of June  2011, 1  million  veterans were  unemployed and  the                                                               
jobless rate for  post 9/11 veterans was 13.3  percent with young                                                               
male  veterans experiencing  an  unemployment rate  of around  22                                                               
percent.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He  said  a number  of  states  are  considering or  have  passed                                                               
similar legislation  to this. This  bill requires  the Department                                                               
of Commerce  and applicable boards to  accept military education,                                                               
training  and  services as  equivalent  to  some  or all  of  the                                                               
qualifications  required   while  applying   for  a   license  or                                                               
certificate. It  authorizes the issuance  of a  temporary license                                                               
or  certificate  for  active  duty service  members  who  had  an                                                               
equivalent license  or certificate  issued by another  state, and                                                               
it  requires  the president  of  the  University of  Alaska,  the                                                               
Alaska Commission on Post-Secondary  Education and the Department                                                               
of  Labor and  Workforce Development  to implement  a policy  and                                                               
procedure for the acceptance of  military education, training and                                                               
service credit as academic credit  toward a degree or a technical                                                               
program offered at  the University. He noted  that the Department                                                               
of Commerce,  Community and  Economic Development  (DCCED) worked                                                               
with them  so that the cost  could be lowered so  the fiscal note                                                               
is  zero. Other  states have  implemented this  bill with  a zero                                                               
fiscal  note.  He said  this  is  the  top  priority for  the  US                                                               
Department of Defense.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:39:28 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL  O'HARE,  Deputy  Director,  Homeland  Security/Emergency                                                               
Management,  Department of  Military &  Veterans Affairs  (DMVA),                                                               
Ft.  Richardson,   Alaska,  said  he  was   available  to  answer                                                               
questions on SB 150.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:39:56 PM                                                                                                                    
MARK  SAN  SOUCI,  Department of  Defense  Regional  Liaison  for                                                               
Military  Families  for the  Northwest,  working  for the  Deputy                                                               
Assistant Secretary  of Defense  for Military Family  & Community                                                               
Policy, said the department supported  SB 150. He said as Senator                                                               
Wielechowski mentioned  last year,  with over 1  million veterans                                                               
unemployed and a post 9/11  unemployment rate of 13.3 percent and                                                               
an  unemployment rate  for 18  to 24  year old  veterans at  21.9                                                               
percent, the  Department of Defense  began supporting  efforts in                                                               
the states to give separating  service members credit so they may                                                               
not be held  back from finding employment or  finishing a degree.                                                               
They  are  asking  states  to   establish  policies  that  ensure                                                               
separating  service members  do not  have to  repeat requirements                                                               
they  may have  already  completed during  a  military career  to                                                               
obtain academic credit or an occupational license.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He said  last year  four states  enacted new  laws to  help grant                                                               
veterans credit  towards licensing in  academics. So far,  in the                                                               
2012 session,  15 other states  have had 27 bills  resembling the                                                               
one before them  today. They are not asking  for direct licensure                                                               
if it's  not equivalent in  cases where the regulatory  agency or                                                               
board  determines partial  credit; they  are only  seeking credit                                                               
where credit is due.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SAN  SOUCI  said  they  should  consider  that  a  veteran's                                                               
training with  the DOD has already  been paid for just  by paying                                                               
federal taxes. Also,  the more credit given to  a veteran towards                                                               
licensing or  a degree  or certification,  the more  school slots                                                               
can  be  made  available  to   civilians  especially  in  Alaskan                                                               
programs that may have waiting lists.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He said the  DOD is working feverishly with the  US Department of                                                               
Labor to  link service transcripts  of military  occupations with                                                               
private  sector licensing  requirements while  also asking  state                                                               
regulatory authorities  in pilot  states of  Washington, Illinois                                                               
and Maryland  to review select military  occupations to determine                                                               
whether the training and experience  is sufficient to be rendered                                                               
useful in determining licensing  credit in given occupations. The                                                               
DOD is  also working with  the military services to  simplify the                                                               
processing of  academic transcripts  to help with  the evaluation                                                               
of academics with the higher institutions of learning.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAN  SOUCI said Alaska is  home to thousands of  veterans and                                                               
is  a  desired  location  for  separating  and  retired  military                                                               
members when choosing  where to live after  leaving the military.                                                               
A 2010  study by the  Defense Manpower Data Center  showed Alaska                                                               
had 1,286 military  people separate to become  veterans or retire                                                               
from the military  and move back to Alaska and  call it home. So,                                                               
Alaska  can expect  many highly  qualified ex-military  people to                                                               
continue to enjoy its quality of  life, and many will continue to                                                               
choose Alaska  when they  want to  transition into  civilian life                                                               
and careers.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
He  said  Washington  State  has   two  bills,  one  for  medical                                                               
occupations  and one  for non-medical  occupations and  they went                                                               
into  law   last  July.  They   are  considered   best  practices                                                               
legislation and  the bill in front  of them is very  much modeled                                                               
after  them.  He asked  that  Alaska  join  the 15  other  states                                                               
considering passing policy to help  veterans along with the other                                                               
four that did last year.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:44:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MENARD asked  if the  argument has  been made  that many                                                               
people need the  same popular classes and if  military people get                                                               
credit  for  IT, for  instance,  other  people could  have  those                                                               
classroom  slots.  Often  classes  are closed  because  too  many                                                               
people need them for their degree.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   WIELECHOWSKI  said   that   was  a   great  point   and                                                               
theoretically  it would  open up  more space  for people  to take                                                               
classes, but  the main thing  they are trying  to do is  to avoid                                                               
duplication.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:47:18 PM                                                                                                                    
RIC   DAVIDGE,  Vietnam   Veterans  of   America,  Chapter   904,                                                               
Anchorage,  Alaska, said  they support  SB 150.  He said  he also                                                               
serves  as  National  Director  of  Government  Affairs  for  the                                                               
Vietnam  Veterans of  America.  He said  they  are interested  in                                                               
shortening  the  time  between   separation  and  employment.  If                                                               
existing  and already  recognized  skills and  training could  be                                                               
recognized  in the  professional  community,  that shortens  that                                                               
time up.  The University is  making great efforts  to accommodate                                                               
veterans in this  respect and their Veterans  Service officers on                                                               
the Fairbanks Campus report this issue is going extremely well.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:49:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRIS  CHRISTENSEN, Associate  Vice  President, State  Relations,                                                               
University of  Alaska, said he was  here to talk about  section 2                                                               
in  SB 150,  which directs  the University's  president to  adopt                                                               
policies and  procedures to award  credit for  military training,                                                               
service and education. He began  by noting that the University is                                                               
committed to  offering quality educational experiences  to active                                                               
military veterans and  their dependents.  GI Jobs,  a magazine in                                                               
"Web Portal"  that exists  specifically to  serve people  who are                                                               
transitioning  from the  military  back into  civilian life,  has                                                               
designated  both  UAA  and  UAF  as  GI  Jobs  military  friendly                                                               
schools. The significance of this is  that only 15 percent of all                                                               
the colleges, universities and vocational  schools in the country                                                               
were able to  receive that rating from that entity.  He said that                                                               
is  a "pretty  sad commentary"  on the  military friendliness  of                                                               
schools down  in the  Lower 48  and that's  probably why  the DOD                                                               
feels it's necessary to push this in the various states.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He said WebPortalGuidetoOn-LineSchools.com,  a very comprehensive                                                               
authority  on  distance  education  and  on-line  learning,  just                                                               
released its 2012 rankings of  military friendly on-line schools.                                                               
And  out of  the  multitude  of schools  that  offer on-line  and                                                               
distance  education, UAA  was rated  number five.  As the  entity                                                               
that  made that  rating  possible by  its  funding decisions  and                                                               
other  support the  legislature should  be proud  of the  part it                                                               
played.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
While trying  to learn  the University system  over the  last few                                                               
months, the single  issue Mr. Christensen said he  has heard most                                                               
about  is transfer  of  credit. It's  a  contentious issue  where                                                               
everyone has a  story or an opinion; military  transfer credit is                                                               
just a  piece of this  bigger issue. The  Board of Regents  has a                                                               
written  policy that  the campuses  must accept  in transfers  as                                                               
much  credit as  is  appropriate  to a  student's  new degree  in                                                               
graduation  requirements.  All  three campuses  have  established                                                               
transfer  credit policies  designed  to give  maximum credit  for                                                               
courses and training taken  elsewhere, specifically including the                                                               
military. He reminded  them that a degree from  an institution is                                                               
a representation  to potential employers  and to others  that the                                                               
holder has  actually learned what  the degree stands for  and can                                                               
do the things it says they can do.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHRISTENSEN said their credit  transfer policies have evolved                                                               
over time  for streamlining while still  protecting the integrity                                                               
of the  degree. It  is a  work in progress  and the  policies are                                                               
continually tweaked to make them more student-friendly.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:52:54 PM                                                                                                                    
They believe  awarding appropriate  credit for  military training                                                               
is one of their basic  responsibilities. But there are actually a                                                               
lot of  misconceptions in  the building about  what UA  does with                                                               
respect  to  accepting  military   credits.  All  three  campuses                                                               
transfer  credit based  on recommendations  made by  the American                                                               
Council of Education  (ACE) that has been in  existence since the                                                               
end of  World War II.  It has had an  agreement with DOD  for the                                                               
last 65 years to review  military training and experience for the                                                               
award of equivalent college  credit - essentially recommendations                                                               
on what  military service is  the equivalent of  civilian college                                                               
credit  -   that  is  currently   being  used  by   thousands  of                                                               
universities and colleges around the country.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHRISTENSEN said each of  the University's three campuses has                                                               
a written agreement with the  DOD to use the ACE recommendations.                                                               
The  three  campuses are  also  members  of the  Service  Members                                                               
Opportunity  Colleges (SOC),  a consortium  of 1900  colleges and                                                               
universities  that enroll  active  military,  veterans and  their                                                               
dependents  in  special  degree  programs.  The  purpose  of  the                                                               
consortium is to  let military folks actually  get degrees rather                                                               
than  just accumulate  credits as  they moved  from base  to base                                                               
around the country  and around the world. In order  to be members                                                               
of this  consortium the campuses  had to sign  written agreements                                                               
easing  the   transferability  of   credit  between   the  member                                                               
institutions.  They even  had to  agree  to limit  the number  of                                                               
credits required of military students  at the campuses to get one                                                               
of their degrees. For example,  at UAA a military student getting                                                               
a  SOC Associates  Degree (AA)  is only  required to  take 3  UAA                                                               
credits on  campus; all the  other credits in the  SOC consortium                                                               
will be accepted.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
He said  the schools do  not have a  limitation on the  number of                                                               
military transfer  credits that they  will accept, but  they used                                                               
to. UAA did  away with that as  recently as last year  as part of                                                               
its continual process  to review how things are done  and to make                                                               
it more student friendly.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Right now,  UAF is in  the process  of developing a  minor degree                                                               
based on typical military credits,  the kind that most servicemen                                                               
would just  automatically have, which  can be used to  satisfy up                                                               
to 18 credits towards any bachelor's degree.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHRISTENSEN said he could go  on and on, but bottom line last                                                               
year UAA  alone awarded  over 15,000  credits to  service members                                                               
for training, education  and even for time spent  in the service.                                                               
Approximately  99.5   percent  of   the  military   students  who                                                               
requested transfer  credit were  given that credit.  He concluded                                                               
saying that Alaska is widely known  to service members as a state                                                               
that welcomes and appreciates the military.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MENARD asked  if he  agreed that  Alaska is  superior in                                                               
military  friendliness,  because  we have  every  single  service                                                               
branch here.  We are in  the top 15  percent of most  friendly to                                                               
military states in the nation.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:57:27 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. CHRISTENSEN said he agreed,  and added that the military know                                                               
they are appreciated here.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL thanked him and  said the University had sent her                                                               
a  four-page  letter  enumerating  all the  proactive  steps  the                                                               
University had taken on this issue, and she thanked them.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHRISTENSEN responded that he  participated in the writing of                                                               
that letter  and actually  in the interests  of brevity  the list                                                               
was cut way down to four pages.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:58:58 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR PASKVAN said it's wonderful that  Alaska is in the top 15                                                               
percent, but he said the University  has a system in place and he                                                               
didn't want  this to  interfere with  it. His  belief is  that it                                                               
doesn't, but he  wanted assurance. He noted  specifically on page                                                               
1,  line 9,  it  says "shall  accept" and  the  applicant has  to                                                               
provide "satisfactory evidence of  successful completion", and on                                                               
page 4,  lines 17 and 18,  it says those transfers  have to "meet                                                               
the requirements  of the accrediting  body of the  institution or                                                               
the commission."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHRISTIANSON responded,  "I think you are  accurate." He said                                                               
the bill  has been  drafted to instruct  the university  to adopt                                                               
procedures for  the acceptance of  relevant credit and  they have                                                               
signed agreements with the DOD to  use the ACE system for members                                                               
of the SOC.  He is assuming they will continue  to do things much                                                               
the way  they have done  with the  ever-present eye to  seeing if                                                               
they can do  things better, and just the review  of this bill has                                                               
done that.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PASKVAN  remarked that this  bill reflects the  policy of                                                               
the  State of  Alaska,  not  only the  University,  and moved  to                                                               
report CSSB 150 (L&C), version  T, from committee with individual                                                               
recommendations and attached zero fiscal note.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL said the fiscal  note is zero for the University,                                                               
but the DCCED  has one of $207.8, because regulations  need to be                                                               
written  by the  Department of  Commerce, Community  and Economic                                                               
Development (DCCED).                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PASKVAN  amended the motion to  "attached multiple fiscal                                                               
notes." There  were no objections  and CSSB 150 (L&C)  moved from                                                               
Senate Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:04:04 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease from 2:04 to 2:05 p.m.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
         SB 155-EXTENDING CERTAIN BOARDS & COMMISSIONS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:05:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR EGAN  announced SB 155  [labeled 27-LS1006\B] to be  up for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:05:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER  said he is  here today in his  capacity as                                                               
chairman of  the Legislative Budget  and Audit  Committee (LB&A),                                                               
sponsor  of  SB 155.  He  explained  that  this is  the  official                                                               
reauthorization of various boards  and commissions whose terms of                                                               
existence have expired in accordance  with statute. He added that                                                               
our boards  and commissions are  placed in statute on  a temporal                                                               
basis  requiring they  come back  up before  the legislature  for                                                               
review and reconsideration on a cyclical basis.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The bill contains  six boards and commissions.  Four are familiar                                                               
having  rolled through  the Senate  Labor and  Commerce Committee                                                               
last year. They  made it through legislative  process and reached                                                               
the governor's desk  but he was uncomfortable  with the provision                                                               
that  had been  added in  Senate Finance  that was  essentially a                                                               
policy decision involving judicial  matters that had not received                                                               
a  full  vetting  in  front  of  a  Judiciary  Committee  in  the                                                               
legislature. So he vetoed the  bill knowing another year remained                                                               
to reconsider it.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER  said the  bill before  them does  not have                                                               
any  policy  decisions  other than  the  reauthorization  of  the                                                               
various  boards  and  commissions,   specifically  the  Board  of                                                               
Barbers  and Hairdressers  through June  19, 2019;  the Board  of                                                               
Dental  Examiners through  June 30,  2019; the  Board of  Nursing                                                               
through June 30,  2019; and the Alcoholic  Beverage Control Board                                                               
through June 30, 2015. They are  seeing those for the second time                                                               
as a result of the situation he just described.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The  two they  have  not seen  yet are  the  Big game  Commercial                                                               
Services  Board through  June  30, 2016  and  the Alaska  Seismic                                                               
Hazards   Safety   Commission   through  June   30,   2016.   The                                                               
reauthorization   dates  are   recommended  by   the  Legislative                                                               
Auditor.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He  noted  that  the  fairly  near-term  date  of  the  Alcoholic                                                               
Beverage Control  Board (ABC) relates  to the short leash  it has                                                               
been on  because of  numerous issues  identified by  the auditor.                                                               
The board has responded to  the concerns raised, but extending it                                                               
to the 2014 date  will put them back on course  for a more normal                                                               
reauthorization.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HAWKER said  they  have a  new state  legislative                                                               
auditor, because  Pat Davidson  who served  in that  capacity for                                                               
over   30  years   retired  last   December.  The   acting  state                                                               
legislative auditor is  Kris Curtis, who also has  a long history                                                               
in the agency.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:10:41 PM                                                                                                                    
KRISTIN  CURTIS,  Division   of  Legislative  Audit,  Legislative                                                               
Affairs  Agency, Alaska  State Legislature,  said SB  155 extends                                                               
the termination dates  for six boards and  commissions. They have                                                               
performed  sunset  audits for  all  the  entities. The  Board  of                                                               
Barbers and Hairdressers,  the Board of Dental  Examiners and the                                                               
Board of Nursing  were completed before the end of  2010 and were                                                               
discussed  before this  committee last  year. She  concluded they                                                               
served   a   public   purpose  and   should   be   extended   and                                                               
recommendations for extension are the same dates in SB 155.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Their  last full  sunset audit  of the  ABC Board  is dated  July                                                               
2009.  However, they  followed up  with the  board last  year and                                                               
again this month  regarding the status of  implementing the audit                                                               
recommendations.  The  audit in  2009  concluded  that the  board                                                               
should be  extended and  did serve a  public need.  However, they                                                               
made   several    recommendations   to   improve    the   board's                                                               
effectiveness and efficiency.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:11:33 PM                                                                                                                    
She   said  they   recommended   a   stronger  internal   control                                                               
environment  be  implemented  to  include  written  policies  and                                                               
operational  procedures as  well  as a  strategic plan  governing                                                               
enforcement activities.  Since that  time many  improvements have                                                               
been   made,   and   their  prior   recommendations   have   been                                                               
substantially implemented, except  one outstanding recommendation                                                               
concerning licensing  revenue. Their prior  recommendation stated                                                               
that  licensing fee  revenues recorded  in the  ABC board's  data                                                               
base did  not agree with,  nor was  it reconciled with,  the same                                                               
revenue  recorded   in  the   state's  accounting   system.  That                                                               
deficiency   continues  to   exist.  They   have  contacted   the                                                               
Department   of  Public   Safety's  Division   of  Administrative                                                               
Services  to  ask the  status  and  they  stated there  has  been                                                               
turnover in  their fiscal  staff that  has delayed  resolving the                                                               
finding. But they are currently working on addressing it.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CURTIS said  the sunset  review of  the Big  Game Commercial                                                               
Services Board is dated September  2011; the purpose of the audit                                                               
was to  determine if the board  should be extended and  if it was                                                               
serving in the public's interest.  They recommended a termination                                                               
date for  the board be  extended until  June 30, 2016.  The board                                                               
has served  a public interest  by providing  reasonable assurance                                                               
that those  individuals licensed  to guide, outfit  and transport                                                               
were qualified to  do so, and the board  has successful developed                                                               
and  adopted   regulatory  changes   to  improve  the   big  game                                                               
commercial services  industry. The  four-year extension  is based                                                               
the board not fully implementing  prior audit recommendations and                                                               
the   less  than   sufficient  services   by   the  Division   of                                                               
Corporations, Business  and Professional Licensing in  support of                                                               
the board's operations.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
She said the  sunset report contained one  new recommendation and                                                               
five repeats.  The new recommendation  address the  poor security                                                               
controls over electronic and paper  versions of confidential hunt                                                               
records.  This  information  is  maintained  as  confidential  by                                                               
statute.  However, the  division  does not  have  staff with  the                                                               
technical  capabilities  to  restrict access  to  the  electronic                                                               
records and does  not have policies and procedures  to ensure the                                                               
physical files are adequately safeguarded.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. CURTIS  said the  repeat recommendations  cover a  variety of                                                               
issues  including poor  operational  support by  the division  in                                                               
both the  administrative and  investigative areas.  Licensee fees                                                               
continue to  be insufficient to  support the  board's operations.                                                               
At the end  of FY11 there was a deficit  of almost $375,000. They                                                               
again recommended that first aid  requirements be made consistent                                                               
between the various licensee types.  And finally, the board still                                                               
wants to  maintain a data base  of hunt records and  reports, and                                                               
this  takes a  significant amount  of administrative  time. Given                                                               
the fiscal condition of the board,  they question whether it is a                                                               
prudent use of  resources, given the little value  they have been                                                               
able to demonstrate.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:15:16 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. CURTIS  said the  sunset audit of  the Alaska  Seismic Hazard                                                               
Safety Commission is  dated June 2011. The purpose  of the review                                                               
was again to determine if  the termination date of the commission                                                               
should be extended.  They found that it  is operating effectively                                                               
and  is serving  a  public purpose.  Therefore, they  recommended                                                               
extending  the  commission  until   June  30,  2016.  The  report                                                               
contained  four recommendations:  that the  commission develop  a                                                               
strategic plan  to guide its  efforts to mitigate  seismic hazard                                                               
risks in Alaska;  develop procedures to ensure  public notices of                                                               
meetings are  published timely;  follow its  procedures regarding                                                               
habitually absent members  and the Office of  the Governor should                                                               
fill appointments to the commission in a timely manner.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:16:24 PM                                                                                                                    
ROD  COMBELLICK,  Deputy  Director, Division  of  Geological  and                                                               
Geophysical  Surveys,  Department  of  Natural  Resources  (DNR),                                                               
Fairbanks, said he was available to answer questions on SB 155.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL O'HARE, Deputy Director,  Homeland Security and Emergency                                                               
Management,  Department of  Military &  Veterans Affairs  (DMVA),                                                               
said  they supported  section 6  for the  Seismic Hazards  Safety                                                               
Commission and offered to answer questions on SB 155.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:17:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SHIRLEY  GIFFORD,  Director,  Alcoholic Beverage  Control  Board,                                                               
said she  supported SB 155.  She said  she has been  director for                                                               
the past three  years; prior to that she was  an ABC board member                                                               
and  has  a  fairly  good  understanding  of  its  importance  in                                                               
controlling the manufacturing,  selling, bartering and possessing                                                               
of alcoholic beverages in the state.  She asked that the board be                                                               
extended. They are  currently in a wind-down year  and don't have                                                               
a sunset. They  have done a lot  of work in the  past three years                                                               
in  trying to  respond  to the  audit's  recommendations. If  the                                                               
board is  not extended they  would take giant steps  backwards in                                                               
controlling alcoholic beverages in the state.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
She said  they had made  many positive changes within  the agency                                                               
and  have several  new employees,  "a kind  of transfusion,"  and                                                               
things  are  working very  well.  The  employees are  proficient,                                                               
professional and courteous.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GIFFORD  said  they  had received  some  feedback  from  the                                                               
industry  about dissatisfaction  with the  board, aside  from the                                                               
legislative audit and  she wanted to respond to them,  as well as                                                               
the auditor's  recommendations. She  developed a survey  and sent                                                               
1,439 of  them to industry  members and after about  three months                                                               
got 257 returned,  an 18 percent return. She  understood that was                                                               
fairly decent for a mail-in survey.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. GIFFORD  said she was very  pleased with the results  of that                                                               
survey. In  all rated categories  from very poor to  superior the                                                               
licensing  staff  of  the  ABC  Board  scored  above  average  to                                                               
superior.  In   all  rated  categories  from   strongly  disagree                                                               
to strongly agree in areas  such as the investigator demonstrated                                                               
respect,  the investigator  explained the  purpose of  the visit,                                                               
the   investigator  was   knowledgeable,  the   investigator  was                                                               
professional and appropriate. The  enforcement staff scored agree                                                               
to strongly  agree and in  one category  rated from very  poor to                                                               
superior - i.e. if the contact  was in response to the licensee's                                                               
request and the process of  getting the licensee's issue resolved                                                               
- the enforcement staff rated above average.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
She  said she  was using  the surveys  as a  tool to  enhance the                                                               
abilities  within  the  agency and  has  scheduled  some  service                                                               
excellence training; the  first one is in Fairbanks  in the first                                                               
week of  February; the next one  is in Anchorage and  then one in                                                               
Juneau.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:21:30 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. GIFFORD said  that she is currently responding to  one of the                                                               
questions where  65.4 percent of  the respondents  indicated that                                                               
no  improvement   was  needed.  But  further   down,  some  small                                                               
percentages indicated  issues had to be  explained several times,                                                               
the employee  didn't know the  answers to their questions  or the                                                               
employee had  to ask others. So  she has instituted a  reading of                                                               
Title 4  into staff meetings  and discussion about what  it means                                                               
and  how it  should be  applied. It's  a complicated  title about                                                               
which they  get frequent calls  from attorneys asking  for advice                                                               
on how to interpret.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
She reported  that they  attained their  goals of  percentages in                                                               
all eight  designated regions  around the state  and this  is the                                                               
first  time that  has happened.  It meant  from FY2010  to FY2011                                                               
that they completed 104 additional  compliance checks on licensed                                                               
establishments,  and  the  compliance  went  up  from  85  to  88                                                               
percent.  They  have  a  95 percent  compliance  rate  goal  when                                                               
sending their underage buyers in  to try to purchase alcohol that                                                               
the licensee or their employee  doesn't make that sale. Fairbanks                                                               
and  Juneau are  at 93  percent  and the  MatSu Valley  is at  92                                                               
percent.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GIFFORD  said  they  are  doing  some  educational  efforts,                                                               
sending  packets to  all licensees  with "born  on" stickers  and                                                               
calendars and  a CHARR brochure.  They answer questions  daily by                                                               
phone  and  email to  licenses  so  they  can  do what  they  are                                                               
supposed to do - not to  sell to underage persons, which is their                                                               
biggest goal.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EGAN  said there was  a lot  of discussion last  year about                                                               
sending folks  out for compliance  checks who are under  21 years                                                               
old and  there were  concerns that  sending under-age  people was                                                               
breaking the law.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GIFFORD responded  that the  law allows  for them  to employ                                                               
under-age  persons if  they are  under the  supervision of  a law                                                               
enforcement officer.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:25:40 PM                                                                                                                    
THOR STACEY,  lobbyist, Alaska Professional  Hunters Association,                                                               
Juneau,  affirmed  their  support  of SB  155,  specifically  the                                                               
reauthorization of the Big Game and Commercial Services Board.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:26:54 PM                                                                                                                    
BOB SWENSON,  State Geologist and Director,  State Geological and                                                               
Geophysical  Surveys,  Department  of  Natural  Resources  (DNR),                                                               
testified  that  the  State  Seismic  Hazards  Commission  is  an                                                               
important part  of the  process of seismic  safety in  the state.                                                               
The  State Geologic  Survey provides  administrative support  for                                                               
this  organization,  and  it also  identifies  hazards  from  the                                                               
geologic perspective.  The Homeland Security group  for the state                                                               
looks at  mitigation from  the public  safety standpoint  and the                                                               
Seismic  Safety  Commission  provides  information  for  building                                                               
safety and legislative policy advice  for improving the safety of                                                               
buildings and infrastructure within the state.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:27:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR PASKVAN  asked the status of  recommendation number four,                                                               
filling the appointments.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SWENSON  replied all  the  audit  recommendations have  been                                                               
addressed except for the first one, their strategic plan.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MENARD  asked a  general question  on best  practices for                                                               
boards  and commissions  when members  are causing  a problem  by                                                               
being habitually absent.  Does he put out a message  to all staff                                                               
in the  building to find  out who is  interested in serving  on a                                                               
board? Is  it acceptable  practice to bring  forward a  name that                                                               
wasn't  accepted but  was well  thought of  in the  industry that                                                               
could serve as a good person to be on a board?                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:30:07 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SWENSON  replied that he is  not the one to  answer that, but                                                               
it's often difficult to find  qualified people with the necessary                                                               
background to serve on the Seismic Hazards Commission.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:31:09 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR PASKVAN said recommendation two  for the Board of Barbers                                                               
and  Hairdressers seems  to be  somewhat critical  and asked  the                                                               
status. It  says the  current public  board member  should either                                                               
surrender her license or be  removed from the public board member                                                               
position.  It  seems  to  be  a  pretty  stark  assessment  of  a                                                               
particular person on that board.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:31:38 PM                                                                                                                    
DON  HABEGER, Director,  Division of  Corporations, Business  and                                                               
Professional  Licensing, Department  of  Commerce, Community  and                                                               
Economic   Development   (DCCED),   replied  that   license   was                                                               
surrendered and a replacement was  sought, but he wasn't familiar                                                               
with the timing.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MENARD asked if that meant the position had been filled.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. HABEGAR  replied that he believed  so, but would get  back to                                                               
the committee about it.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL thanked  the committee for hearing  this issue so                                                               
expeditiously on behalf of the  licensees of the four boards that                                                               
were not renewed last year and are facing sunset.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GIESSEL  moved  to  report   SB  155,  version  B,  from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
note(s). There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
At ease from 2:33:54 to 2:35:32 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:35:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  EGAN called  the meeting  back to  order and  adjourned at                                                               
2:35 p.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 155 Enrolled HB 126.PDF SL&C 1/31/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 126
SB 155
SB 155 Parnell Veto msg HB 126.PDF SL&C 1/31/2012 1:30:00 PM
HB 126
SB 155
SB 155.PDF SL&C 1/31/2012 1:30:00 PM
SB 155
SB 155 Sponsor Statement.PDF SL&C 1/31/2012 1:30:00 PM
SB 155
SB 155 Sectional Analysis.PDF SL&C 1/31/2012 1:30:00 PM
SB 155
SB155-DNR-DGGS-01-27-12.pdf SL&C 1/31/2012 1:30:00 PM
SB 155
SB 155 Leg Audit Bd of Barbers and Hairdressers.PDF SL&C 1/31/2012 1:30:00 PM
SB 155
SB 155 Leg Audit Board of Nursing.PDF SL&C 1/31/2012 1:30:00 PM
SB 155
SB 155 Leg Audit ABC Board.PDF SL&C 1/31/2012 1:30:00 PM
SB 155
SB 155 Leg Audit Board of Dental Examiners.PDF SL&C 1/31/2012 1:30:00 PM
SB 155
SB 155 Leg Audit Big Game Commercial Services Board.PDF SL&C 1/31/2012 1:30:00 PM
SB 155
SB 155 Leg Audit Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission.PDF SL&C 1/31/2012 1:30:00 PM
SB 155
CS SB150 (STA) memo of changes.pdf SL&C 1/31/2012 1:30:00 PM
SB 150
SB150-DOL-Fiscal Note-1-20-12.pdf SL&C 1/31/2012 1:30:00 PM
SB 150