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