Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/11/2017 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
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Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Moved CSSCR 10(L&C) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          SENATE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                        
                         April 11, 2017                                                                                         
                           1:31 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Mia Costello, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Shelley Hughes, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Senator Berta Gardner                                                                                                           
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 49(FIN)                                                                                 
"An Act extending the termination date of the Board of Certified                                                                
Direct-Entry Midwives; and providing for an effective date."                                                                    
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 10                                                                                             
Proclaiming 2018 to be the Alaska Year of Innovation.                                                                           
     - MOVED CSSCR 10(L&C)                                                                                                      
SENATE BILL NO. 85                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to allocations of funding for the Alaska                                                                       
Workforce Investment Board; and providing for an effective                                                                      
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB  49                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: EXTEND BOARD OF DIRECT-ENTRY MIDWIVES                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KITO                                                                                              
01/18/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/17       (H)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
02/01/17       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/01/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/01/17       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/03/17       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/03/17       (H)       Moved  HB 49 Out of Committee                                                                          
02/03/17       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/06/17       (H)       L&C RPT 6DP 1DNP                                                                                       
02/06/17       (H)       DP: SULLIVAN-LEONARD, STUTES, WOOL,                                                                    
                         JOSEPHSON, BIRCH, KITO                                                                                 
02/06/17       (H)       DNP: KNOPP                                                                                             
03/06/17       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
03/06/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/06/17       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/31/17       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
03/31/17       (H)       Moved  CSHB 49(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/31/17       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
04/03/17       (H)       FIN RPT CS(FIN) 8DP                                                                                    
04/03/17       (H)       DP: GARA, THOMPSON, WILSON, ORTIZ,                                                                     
                         GRENN, TILTON, SEATON, FOSTER                                                                          
04/07/17       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/07/17       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 49(FIN)                                                                                  
04/10/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/10/17       (S)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
04/11/17       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
BILL: SCR 10                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ALASKA YEAR OF INNOVATION                                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): COSTELLO                                                                                                            
04/07/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/07/17       (S)       L&C, STA                                                                                               
04/10/17       (S)       L&C AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/10/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/10/17       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/11/17       (S)       L&C AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
BILL: SB  85                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: AK WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD; FUNDS                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): LABOR & COMMERCE                                                                                                    
03/10/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/10/17       (S)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
03/23/17       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/23/17       (S)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/30/17       (S)       L&C AT 9:00 AM FAHRENKAMP 203                                                                          
03/30/17       (S)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
04/04/17       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/04/17       (S)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
04/11/17       (S)       L&C AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/11/17       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
CRYSTAL KOENEMAN, Staff                                                                                                         
Representative Sam Kito                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 49 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                                 
KRIS CURTIS, Legislative Auditor                                                                                                
Legislative Audit Division                                                                                                      
Legislative Agencies and Offices                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed the audit report for direct-entry                                                                
midwives during the hearing on HB 49.                                                                                           
SARA CHAMBERS, Deputy Director                                                                                                  
Division of Corporations, Businesses and Professional Licensing                                                                 
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information related to HB 49.                                                                    
JOHANNA CROSSEH, direct-entry midwife representing herself                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 49.                                                                            
MADI NOLAN GRIMES, Director                                                                                                     
Juneau Family Health and Birth Center                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 49.                                                                            
DEBORAH SCHNEIDER, Chair                                                                                                        
Board of Certified Direct0Entry Midwives                                                                                        
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 49.                                                                            
SUSAN TERWILLIGER, President                                                                                                    
Midwives of Alaska                                                                                                              
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 49.                                                                            
WESTON EILER, Staff                                                                                                             
Senate Labor and Commerce Committee                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Reviewed the  changes between version  D and                                                             
version J for SCR 10 and delivered opening remarks on SB 85.                                                                    
GREG CASHEN, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                                
Department of Labor and Workforce Development                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT: During  the hearing  on SB  85, delivered  a                                                             
PowerPoint overview  of the Technical and  Vocational Educational                                                               
PALOMA HARBOUR, Director                                                                                                        
Division of Administrative Services                                                                                             
Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD)                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:  During  the  hearing  on  SB  85,  answered                                                             
questions  related to  the Technical  and Vocational  Educational                                                               
FRED VILLA, Associate Vice President                                                                                            
Workforce Programs                                                                                                              
University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                                                                  
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 85.                                                                            
DR. PEARL BROWER, President                                                                                                     
Ilisagvik College                                                                                                               
Barrow, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  support of  amending SB  85 to                                                             
include a five-year extension that the House passed.                                                                            
KATHY LEARY                                                                                                                     
Ilisagvik College                                                                                                               
Barrow, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 85.                                                                            
ANISHIA ELBIE, Co-Executive Director                                                                                            
Southwest Alaska Vocational and Educations Center                                                                               
King Salmon, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  support of  amending SB  85 to                                                             
include a five-year extension that the House passed.                                                                            
DOUGLAS J. WALRATH, Ph.D., Director                                                                                             
Northwestern Alaska Career and Technical Center                                                                                 
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 85.                                                                            
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:31:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MIA COSTELLO called the  Senate Labor and Commerce Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:31  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were Senators Gardner and  Chair Costello. Senators Hughes,                                                               
Meyer, and Stevens arrived during the meeting.                                                                                  
          HB  49-EXTEND BOARD OF DIRECT-ENTRY MIDWIVES                                                                      
1:31:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO announced  the consideration of HB  49. She stated                                                               
that the intent  is to hear from the sponsor,  take questions and                                                               
public testimony,  and hold the  bill for  further consideration.                                                               
[CSHB 49(FIN) was before the committee.]                                                                                        
1:32:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CRYSTAL KOENEMAN,  Staff, Representative  Sam Kito,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, explained  that HB 49  extends the Board  of Direct-                                                               
Entry  Midwives  for  six  years,   to  2023.  Legislative  Audit                                                               
recommended a  four-year sunset extension  and the  House Finance                                                               
Committee  recommended   a  six-year   sunset.  The   sponsor  is                                                               
comfortable   with   the    finance   recommendation   with   the                                                               
understanding that  the board's deficit  will be paid  off. Also,                                                               
extending the  audit the additional  two years will  reduce costs                                                               
to the state.                                                                                                                   
1:33:28 PM                                                                                                                    
KRIS CURTIS, Legislative Auditor,  Division of Legislative Audit,                                                               
Legislative  Agencies  and  Offices,  stated  that  the  division                                                               
conducted a  sunset audit of  the Board of  Direct-Entry Midwives                                                               
to  determine  whether it  is  serving  the public  interest  and                                                               
should  be extended.  The last  sunset  audit of  this board  was                                                               
conducted  in 2014.  At that  time  the division  found that  the                                                               
investigative  staff of  the Division  of Corporations,  Business                                                               
and  Professional Licensing  (DCBPL)  was  not actively  pursuing                                                               
investigations. This  posed a  public safety  risk and  the board                                                               
was given  a two-year  extension. The 2016  audit found  that the                                                               
board  was  serving  the  public  interest  and  was  effectively                                                               
licensing  and  regulating  direct-entry  midwives.  A  four-year                                                               
extension was recommended.                                                                                                      
She  said Legislative  Audit made  three  recommendations in  the                                                               
last audit.                                                                                                                     
Recommendation  1: The  Division  of  Corporations, Business  and                                                               
Professional Licensing,  in consultation  with the  board, should                                                               
increase licensing fees to address the operating deficit.                                                                       
Ms. Curtis noted that in 2014  the deficit was about $115,000 and                                                               
in 2016  the deficit had grown  to just over $183,000.  Fees were                                                               
increased during  this time  but were  insufficient to  cover the                                                               
board's operating costs.                                                                                                        
Recommendation 2:  The director of the  Division of Corporations,                                                               
Business and  Professional Licensing should take  steps to ensure                                                               
that license records are accurate.                                                                                              
Ms. Curtis explained  that audit test work found  two errors. The                                                               
wrong license was listed as  on probation in the online database,                                                               
and  a consent  agreement that  the  board had  approved had  the                                                               
wrong year listed.                                                                                                              
Recommendation  3:  The  legislature  should  consider  alternate                                                               
forms of regulating the midwifery profession.                                                                                   
She said this is an unusual  recommendation that is made in light                                                               
of  the rising  deficit and  the  small number  of licensees.  To                                                               
address the deficit DCBPL management  plans to increase licensing                                                               
fees significantly. By 2020 fees  are expected to be about $4,000                                                               
for  direct-entry  midwives  and   about  $2,000  for  apprentice                                                               
midwives. Legislative  Audit believes this fee  structure poses a                                                               
barrier to entry into the profession  and could result in a lower                                                               
number of midwives available to the public.                                                                                     
1:36:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO asked  if  this was  the  first time  Legislative                                                               
Audit  the legislature  look at  alternate forms  of licensing  a                                                               
MS. CURTIS  said they have  made that recommendation in  the past                                                               
and have  also recommended  terminating due  to a  large deficit.                                                               
She directed  attention to the Department  of Commerce, Community                                                               
and  Economic Development  (DCCED)  response on  page  21 of  the                                                               
audit.  DCCED concurred  with the  first two  recommendations and                                                               
had no position  on the third recommendation  but did acknowledge                                                               
that merging  the board with  a similar profession  would improve                                                               
its fiscal  situation. The board's  response is on page  23. They                                                               
concur with recommendations  1 and 2, but  strongly disagree with                                                               
recommendation  3. They  point  out that  midwifery  is a  unique                                                               
profession and other boards would  have difficulty regulating it.                                                               
The  suggestion to  combine  with  the Board  of  Nursing or  the                                                               
Physician's Board  would be problematic because  those boards are                                                               
in direct  competition with the  CDM profession. They  fear being                                                               
regulated out  of practice and  strongly believe that  neither of                                                               
these boards would  want midwives to have any  role in regulating                                                               
their profession.                                                                                                               
1:37:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES joined the committee.                                                                                            
1:38:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO said  she  understands  that similar  suggestions                                                               
have not been successful.                                                                                                       
1:38:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS joined the committee.                                                                                           
CHAIR COSTELLO  asked if  it is  unusual for a  board to  carry a                                                               
deficit for a decade, as this board has.                                                                                        
MS. CURTIS  said she can't  confirm that  this board has  been in                                                               
deficit for  a decade, but  prior audits indicate  that licensing                                                               
fees  have  been  a  consistent   problem.  The  board  has  also                                                               
experienced investigative costs.                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO  asked Ms.  Chambers to comment  on the  audit and                                                               
anything else the committee should know.                                                                                        
1:40:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SARA  CHAMBERS,   Deputy  Director,  Division   of  Corporations,                                                               
Businesses  and Professional  Licensing, Department  of Commerce,                                                               
Community  and Economic  Development  (DCCED),  Juneau, said  the                                                               
division  concurred with  the first  two recommendations  and has                                                               
been working  with the  board to  eliminate the  deficit. Statute                                                               
requires  all   licensing  programs  to  cover   their  expenses,                                                               
including investigations  of unlicensed activity. This  is a very                                                               
sensitive public  health profession  and their  investigative and                                                               
legal costs are  quite high relative to the  number of licensees.                                                               
Licensing  fees have  been  increased to  about  $3,800 to  cover                                                               
costs going forward and to eliminate the debt.                                                                                  
CHAIR  COSTELLO asked  what the  licensing fees  are for  nurses,                                                               
physicians and chiropractors.                                                                                                   
MS.  CHAMBERS  said  a  physician's license  is  $300  a  nurse's                                                               
license is $165,  and a chiropractor's license is  $450. The fees                                                               
generally reflect the  number of people who  support the overhead                                                               
and costs.  Physicians and nurses  have large boards  whereas the                                                               
chiropractor board is smaller.                                                                                                  
SENATOR  GARDNER commented  that if  the board  objects to  being                                                               
merged  with either  the Board  of Nursing  or the  State Medical                                                               
Board,  it is  deciding that  its  membership will  pay the  high                                                               
MS. CHAMBERS acknowledged the comment.                                                                                          
SENATOR HUGHES  asked if  there had  been any  conversations with                                                               
either  the Board  of Nursing  or  the State  Medical Board.  She                                                               
surmised that those boards wouldn't support the merge.                                                                          
MS. CHAMBERS  said there  have been  no formal  conversations but                                                               
anecdotally the top  concern is how the fees would  be managed if                                                               
the program  is bringing in  a deficit.  She added that  it isn't                                                               
unprecedented  for multiple  professions to  be housed  under one                                                               
1:45:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER joined the committee.                                                                                             
SENATOR GARDNER asked if the  committee will hear from members of                                                               
the board.                                                                                                                      
CHAIR COSTELLO said yes.                                                                                                        
1:46:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO opened public testimony on HB 49.                                                                                
1:46:45 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHANNA  CROSSEH, representing  herself,  said she  is a  direct-                                                               
entry midwife  in Juneau who is  testifying in support of  HB 49.                                                               
She stated, "We like our board  so much that we're willing to pay                                                               
the $3,800 licensing fee in an effort  to get us out of this debt                                                               
situation we've gotten ourselves into."                                                                                         
CHAIR  COSTELLO  asked her  to  comment  further on  the  board's                                                               
willingness   to  address   the   deficit   within  the   current                                                               
MS. CROSSEH  maintained that she  and other midwives  are willing                                                               
to  pay  the  fees  because  they  understand  how  unique  their                                                               
profession  is.   Anecdotal  reports  from  nurses   and  doctors                                                               
indicate  a lack  of support  for merging  with a  board that  is                                                               
operating in a deficit, she said.                                                                                               
CHAIR COSTELLO asked the cost of a home birth.                                                                                  
MS.  CROSSEH  said most  midwives  in  Juneau charge  $3,500  and                                                               
Medicaid pays about $1,200 for the same home birth.                                                                             
CHAIR COSTELLO asked what a hospital birth costs.                                                                               
MS. CROSSEH said  she didn't have exact figures,  but the midwife                                                               
option certainly saves the state money.                                                                                         
SENATOR  GARDNER asked  if  there is  an  accredited program  for                                                               
midwives in Alaska.                                                                                                             
MS.  CROSSEH  said nothing  is  offered  in-state but  accredited                                                               
distance  programs  are available.  The  birth  center where  she                                                               
works in Juneau  offers the internship portion  of the accredited                                                               
training. Many  birth centers and  private midwives  in Anchorage                                                               
also offer apprenticeships.                                                                                                     
1:50:09 PM                                                                                                                    
MADI  NOLAN GRIMES  said she  is a  direct-entry midwife  and the                                                               
director of  a local birth  center in  Juneau who is  speaking in                                                               
support  of  HB  49.  She  echoed  Ms.  Crosseh's  comments  that                                                               
midwives as  a profession  acknowledge that  they are  willing to                                                               
pay down their debt and will continue to pay the elevated fees.                                                                 
SENATOR GARDNER  asked if the  $3,800 fee  is a barrier  to entry                                                               
for starting midwives.                                                                                                          
MS. NOLAN  GRIMES said the hope  is that the licensing  fees will                                                               
even out as the deficit is addressed.                                                                                           
1:51:57 PM                                                                                                                    
DEBORAH  SCHNEIDER,   Chair,  Board  of   Direct-Entry  Midwives,                                                               
Wasilla, said  she is testifying  in support  of HB 49.  She said                                                               
midwives have been licensed in Alaska  for more than 20 years and                                                               
they have worked  hard to provide good, safe  care. The licensing                                                               
fees have fluctuated  up and down over the years  and the current                                                               
licensees are committed  to paying down their  deficit. The board                                                               
is  also   working  with  multiple  state   agencies  to  prevent                                                               
protracted and expensive investigations  that the board has faced                                                               
in the  past. The first  two recommendations from the  audit have                                                               
been  addressed but  the  board  does not  agree  with the  third                                                               
recommendation  to address  the deficit  by merging  with another                                                               
1:54:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SUSAN  TERWILLIGER,  President,  Midwives Association  of  Alaska                                                               
said she  is a certified  direct-entry midwife who has  an office                                                               
in Eagle  River and  does home  births. She  is speaking  for the                                                               
membership in support  HB 49. They agree to pay  the high fees to                                                               
eliminate  the   deficit.  The   uniqueness  of   the  profession                                                               
underscores  the   importance  of   this  board   overseeing  the                                                               
midwifery profession and protecting public safety.                                                                              
CHAIR  COSTELLO asked  if  she knows  the range  of  costs for  a                                                               
hospital birth.                                                                                                                 
MS. TERWILLIGER said no, but  the packets should have information                                                               
showing  how  much  direct-entry   midwives  save  the  state  in                                                               
Medicaid payments.                                                                                                              
1:57:12 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
1:57:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO  reconvened  the  meeting and  advised  that  the                                                               
document is online but not in the packets.                                                                                      
MS. TERWILLIGER read  from the document she  referenced. In 2015,                                                               
Medicaid payments per  birth by CDNs was $1,168  and the Medicaid                                                               
payment for a low-risk hospital birth was $3,171.                                                                               
CHAIR  COSTELLO asked  if midwives  have  adjusted their  charges                                                               
based on their licensing fees.                                                                                                  
MS. TERWILLIGER said no.                                                                                                        
1:59:39 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO closed  public testimony  on HB  49 and  held the                                                               
bill in committee for further review.                                                                                           
2:00:15 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                SCR 10-ALASKA YEAR OF INNOVATION                                                                            
2:02:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO   reconvened  the   meeting  and   announced  the                                                               
consideration of SCR 10.                                                                                                        
2:03:03 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES moved  to adopt  the work  draft CS  for SCR  10,                                                               
labeled 30-LS0618\J, as the working document.                                                                                   
CHAIR COSTELLO objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                
2:03:27 PM                                                                                                                    
WESTON EILER, Staff, Senate Labor  and Commerce Committee, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  reviewed the  following changes in  version J                                                               
for SCR 10:                                                                                                                     
     Page 1, line  1. The title reads,  "Proclaiming 2018 to                                                                    
     be the Year of Innovation in Alaska."                                                                                      
     Page 1,  line 16  through page 2,  line 3.  Several new                                                                    
     categories of Alaskan  innovators were added including:                                                                    
     indigenous    peoples,   Alaska    Natives,   teachers,                                                                    
     entrepreneurs,    students,   and    all   hard-working                                                                    
     Page  2, lines  14-31. Five  new paragraphs  were added                                                                    
     that expand on the  economic development and innovation                                                                    
     currently   happening  in   the  state.   Collaboration                                                                    
     between  regional  and statewide  economic  development                                                                    
     organizations   is  highlighted;   entrepreneurial  and                                                                    
     innovation  ecosystems are  emphasized; the  importance                                                                    
     of  intellectual property  and  university research  is                                                                    
     cited;  and  it  emphasizes that  a  strong  innovation                                                                    
     ecosystem   depends   on    promotion   from   existing                                                                    
     companies, new industries, and strategic ventures.                                                                         
     Page 3, lines 9-10, conform to the title change.                                                                           
MR EILER  concluded that the  resolution was expanded  to include                                                               
comments  from members.  The changes  help  start a  conversation                                                               
that  is in  line with  what this  committee and  the Senate  has                                                               
worked on this session.                                                                                                         
SENATOR GARDNER suggested  changing the language on  page 1, line                                                               
16, to replace "indigenous peoples,  Alaska Natives" with "Native                                                               
peoples, pioneers,  scientists, builders". This  acknowledges the                                                               
diversity  and  variation among  early  Alaskans  and provides  a                                                               
MR.  EILER said  that same  idea is  what precipitated  including                                                               
"indigenous people" on page l, line 16.                                                                                         
2:08:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  asked for clarification  that she  was suggesting                                                               
saying "Native  peoples, pioneers,  explorers" and  then continue                                                               
with  the existing  language starting  with "miners"  on page  2,                                                               
line 1.                                                                                                                         
SENATOR GARDNER said yes.                                                                                                       
CHAIR  COSTELLO   said  she  would   consider  that   a  friendly                                                               
amendment. She asked if there was objection.                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS said he didn't  object but he didn't believe that                                                               
Alaskans  are any  more innovative  than other  Americans. "We're                                                               
Americans first  and I  think it's unnecessary  to say  all these                                                               
glowing  things about  us when,  in fact,  I don't  know if  it's                                                               
necessarily true."                                                                                                              
CHAIR  COSTELLO said  she didn't  intend to  compare Alaskans  to                                                               
anyone else.                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER said she believes a  lot of people come here with                                                               
a  spirit of  adventure  that isn't  necessarily  found in  other                                                               
places.  It's not  unique because  it does  exist elsewhere,  but                                                               
there's more of it here.                                                                                                        
2:11:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES  observed that  in that  same paragraph  there are                                                               
other  things than  geography and  climate that  Alaskans respond                                                               
to.  She suggested  including the  word  "challenges" to  reflect                                                               
more innovative ways.                                                                                                           
CHAIR  COSTELLO,  noting  that  an  amendment  was  not  offered,                                                               
reminded  members that  she asked  them to  look closely  at that                                                               
paragraph. She said she was  happy with the existing language and                                                               
solicited other comments.                                                                                                       
SENATOR HUGHES said, "I'm okay."                                                                                                
2:12:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES moved  to report the CS for SCR  10 from committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s).                                                                    
2:12:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER objected to ask if her amendment was accepted.                                                                  
CHAIR COSTELLO said yes.                                                                                                        
SENATOR GARDNER removed her objection.                                                                                          
CHAIR  COSTELLO asked  Senator Hughes  to restate  the motion  to                                                               
reflect the amendment.                                                                                                          
2:13:07 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES  moved to report  the CS  for SCR 10,  as amended,                                                               
from  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached                                                               
fiscal note(s).                                                                                                                 
2:13:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  announced that  without objection,  CSSCR 10(L&C)                                                               
moved from the Senate Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                    
2:13:56 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
           SB  85-AK WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD;FUNDS                                                                       
2:18:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO   reconvened  the   meeting  and   announced  the                                                               
consideration of  SB 85.  She explained that  this is  the sunset                                                               
reauthorization  for the  Alaska  Technical Vocational  Education                                                               
Program, and the  House passed the companion bill  on Sunday. The                                                               
intention today  is to hear  the introduction of the  Senate bill                                                               
and take public testimony.                                                                                                      
2:19:09 PM                                                                                                                    
WESTON EILER, Staff, Senate Labor  and Commerce Committee, Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,   stated  that  SB  85   extends  the  Alaska                                                               
Technical and Vocational Education  Program (TVEP). Funds for the                                                               
program  come from  employee  contributions  to the  Unemployment                                                               
Insurance Trust  Fund and are  used for vocational  education and                                                               
workforce development.  The legislature established TVEP  in 2000                                                               
and  the  distribution  of  the   funds  was  split  between  the                                                               
University  of  Alaska, the  Kotzebue  Training  Center, and  the                                                               
Alaska  Technical Center  (AVTEC).  The list  has expanded  since                                                               
then to include 10 training  centers, including the University of                                                               
Alaska that receives  45 percent of the funds  generated from the                                                               
assessments.  For FY2017  this  is estimated  to  be about  $13.2                                                               
million. The committee  is sponsoring the bill at  the request of                                                               
the administration.                                                                                                             
MR. EILER stated that Section  1 extends the program through June                                                               
30, 2020.  Page 1,  line 11,  through page 2,  line 6,  lists the                                                               
recipients and  percentage each receives as  assigned by statute.                                                               
The funds are allocated as follows:                                                                                             
University of Alaska                              45 percent                                                                    
Galena Interior Learning Academy                  04 percent                                                                    
Alaska Technical Center                           09 percent                                                                    
Alaska Vocational Technical Center                17 percent                                                                    
Northwestern Alaska Career & Technical Center     03 percent                                                                    
Southwest Alaska Vocational & Education Center    03 percent                                                                    
Yuut Elitnaurviat, Inc. People's Learning Center  09 percent                                                                    
Partners for Progress in Delta, Inc.              03 percent                                                                    
Amundsen Educational Center                       02 percent                                                                    
Ilisagvik College                                 05 percent                                                                    
Section 2 addresses retroactivity to  ensure there isn't a gap in                                                               
2:23:24 PM                                                                                                                    
GREG  CASHEN,  Deputy  Commissioner,   Department  of  Labor  and                                                               
Workforce   Development,  Juneau,   thanked  the   committee  for                                                               
inviting Paloma  Harbour and himself  to give an overview  of the                                                               
Technical and Vocational Education Program (TVEP).                                                                              
He  explained that  SB  85 reauthorizes  the  allocation of  TVEP                                                               
funds  for  three years.  This  program  was established  by  the                                                               
legislature in 2000  to enhance the quality  and accessibility of                                                               
job  training throughout  the state  and to  align training  with                                                               
regional  workforce  demands.  The   program  is  funded  through                                                               
employee contributions to the  Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.                                                               
The purpose is to ensure  a statewide training infrastructure for                                                               
unemployed individuals, adults and  youths, who may need training                                                               
to return  to work. TVEP  funds are distributed to  technical and                                                               
vocational education training entities  as designated by statute.                                                               
The program supports operating costs  for training centers across                                                               
the  state,  including rural  Alaska,  and  provides a  range  of                                                               
vocational  training   from  entry-level  courses   to  associate                                                               
degrees. In FY2016, the ten  TVEP recipients were allocated $12.5                                                               
million  and served  10,295 Alaskans.  This translates  to $1,215                                                               
per participant.                                                                                                                
MR.  CASHEN  said  TVEP effectively  decreases  unemployment  and                                                               
increases graduation  rates, employment and earnings,  and Alaska                                                               
hire. He  opined that a  statewide network of  training providers                                                               
is  critical to  developing  an  Alaska workforce  and  SB 85  is                                                               
necessary  to educate  and  train Alaskans  for  Alaska jobs.  He                                                               
displayed a chart  showing the number of  Alaskans that completed                                                               
the program  in FY2012-FY2015 and  the number that  were employed                                                               
within a  year of completing  their training. He said  success in                                                               
these programs  gives students the  skills and  confidence needed                                                               
to  start  employment  or seek  additional  training.  Oftentimes                                                               
students will  advance from one  training provider to  another as                                                               
they advance their skills.                                                                                                      
MR. CASHEN  displayed a  chart showing the  median wage  for TVEP                                                               
participants  7-12  months  after  they exited  the  program.  He                                                               
highlighted that  many participants  continue their  training and                                                               
only work  part time, which  brings down the average.  In FY2016,                                                               
the  average earnings  per participant  one year  before entering                                                               
TVEP  training was  $19,080 compared  to $24,293  one year  after                                                               
training.  On average,  the salary  increase is  27 percent.  The                                                               
cumulative earnings one year after  TVEP training was $26 million                                                               
more than one year before TVEP  training. Slides 8 and 9 list the                                                               
23 occupations of  TVEP participants. He explained  that the TVEP                                                               
program does not categorize the  jobs as training related because                                                               
many of  the trainings are  broad employment skill  programs that                                                               
will benefit  the participant in  a range  of jobs. He  cited the                                                               
examples of driver's education and Microsoft Excel.                                                                             
2:29:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO referenced  slide 9  and asked  how he'd  explain                                                               
that  30   people  are  employed  in   "unknown  or  unavailable"                                                               
MR.  CASHEN  said  he  would  follow  up  with  an  answer  after                                                               
consulting the  research and analysis  section, but his  guess is                                                               
that  it   wasn't  possible  to   match  the  training   with  an                                                               
CHAIR  COSTELLO referenced  slide 8  and noted  that the  highest                                                               
number  of  employed are  in  office  and administrative  support                                                               
occupations.  She asked  if the  employment  numbers reflect  the                                                               
area the participants received training.                                                                                        
PALOMA  HARBOUR, Director,  Division of  Administrative Services,                                                               
Department of  Labor and  Workforce Development  (DOLWD), Juneau,                                                               
said several  training providers  offer office  support training.                                                               
Training such as business and  office technology, Microsoft Excel                                                               
and  Word, and  medical office  assistants  might be  put in  the                                                               
administrative support category.                                                                                                
MR. CASHEN  displayed a  chart showing  the TVEP  distribution by                                                               
recipient  from  FY2015-FY2018.  He  explained  that  the  FY2018                                                               
distribution  assumes the  current  statutory  allocation and  is                                                               
based on the  projected revenue in the fund.  He highlighted that                                                               
when  employment   decreases,  the  revenue  to   the  fund  also                                                               
MS. HARBOUR clarified that the  $13.2 million cited when the bill                                                               
was presented was  the estimate based on  the original governor's                                                               
budget.  It's closer  to $12  million, based  on revised  revenue                                                               
projections.  Revenue  is   down  significantly  because  overall                                                               
employment is down.                                                                                                             
SENATOR STEVENS asked which entity is the Seward Skill Center.                                                                  
MS. HARBOUR said  it's the Alaska Vocational  Technical Center or                                                               
SENATOR MEYER asked if University  of Alaska refers to the system                                                               
and funds go to all the campuses.                                                                                               
MS. HARBOUR said it's for  the system and the university prepared                                                               
a report that breaks down the  amount of money that is awarded to                                                               
each of the campuses.                                                                                                           
SENATOR  HUGHES  asked if  a  student  could  use TVEP  funds  at                                                               
Northern  Industrial Training  or other  private sector  training                                                               
MS.  HARBOUR  said  the State  Training  and  Employment  Program                                                               
(STEP)   provides  workforce   development  grants   to  training                                                               
entities,  and  it  provides  grants  to  individuals  to  attend                                                               
various training  programs. TVEP  funds only  go to  the entities                                                               
CHAIR  COSTELLO  clarified  that  STEP  is  a  competitive  grant                                                               
program and the  recipients of TVEP funds are  listed in statute.                                                               
She understands there is some overlap.                                                                                          
2:34:59 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. CASHEN  displayed slide 11 that  provides performance details                                                               
by recipient, including the amount  distributed and the number of                                                               
Alaskan adults and students served in FY2016.                                                                                   
CHAIR  COSTELLO asked  him to  comment  on the  variation in  the                                                               
funding. For example, the Amundsen  Educational Center receives 2                                                               
percent of the funding and  it serves 17 participants whereas the                                                               
Galena  Interior  Learning  Academy  receives 4  percent  of  the                                                               
funding and serves 260 participants.                                                                                            
MR.  CASHEN said  the department  doesn't compare  the individual                                                               
training centers for performance;  they simply report the numbers                                                               
as required by statute.                                                                                                         
CHAIR  COSTELLO said  the  King Career  Center  in the  Anchorage                                                               
School District doesn't receive any  TVEP funds but K-12 students                                                               
in Galena and NACTEC are  receiving assistance through TVEP. "Why                                                               
are we giving  some training outfits money outside  the BSA while                                                               
others have  to perform within  the base student  allocation that                                                               
the legislature provides?"                                                                                                      
2:37:47 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. HARBOUR restated  that the purpose of the TVEP  program is to                                                               
ensure    a    statewide   training    infrastructure.    Through                                                               
conversations with  prior commissioners  she understands  that it                                                               
wasn't  affordable to  have a  career  center like  KCC in  every                                                               
rural site, but conforming a  boarding school with the vocational                                                               
technical  infrastructure  was  a viable  option.  Students  from                                                               
rural  locations  come  to  a   central  site  to  get  workforce                                                               
development  type  training at  a  more  affordable rate  to  the                                                               
CHAIR COSTELLO  asked why, despite the  reporting requirements in                                                               
state  law,  the  performance  data   on  slide  12  includes  no                                                               
information from the Galena Interior  Learning Academy. She asked                                                               
if the  information is  missing because  the recipients  of these                                                               
state grants are public school students.                                                                                        
MS.  HARBOUR said  that's correct.  Federal privacy  laws prevent                                                               
the sort of matching that is done for the rest of the programs.                                                                 
SENATOR STEVENS commented that it's  an interesting point. It was                                                               
stated that  the purpose  of the  program is  retrain individuals                                                               
who  are  unemployed, but  training  high  school students  is  a                                                               
little  different.   He  asked   how  that  combination   can  be                                                               
MS. HARBOUR  clarified that the focus  of the TVEP program  is to                                                               
ensure a  training infrastructure  across the state,  although it                                                               
can  be used  to retrain  the unemployed.  The idea  is to  train                                                               
people  to replace  the aging  workforce  as well  as to  retrain                                                               
individuals or keep them employed.  For example, Ilisavik College                                                               
does  a  lot  of  retraining of  individuals  who  are  currently                                                               
employed but need to renew their certification.                                                                                 
CHAIR COSTELLO asked if the data  on slide 12 is based on general                                                               
employment  or employment  in  the area  where  the training  was                                                               
received.  She described  that as  an  important distinction  for                                                               
measuring the success of the institution.                                                                                       
MR. CASHEN  said the data represents  general employment. Because                                                               
some  of  the  training  is  general  workforce  readiness,  it's                                                               
difficult to match with an occupation.                                                                                          
CHAIR  COSTELLO observed  that one  of the  institutions receives                                                               
over $14,000 per student but just  50 percent are employed 1 year                                                               
after exiting  the program. She  asked if  there's a way  to link                                                               
the money  spent per student with  the success of the  program to                                                               
keep an  institution from using  the money for things  other than                                                               
training, such as replacing a roof.                                                                                             
MS.  HARBOUR   said  the  statute   requires  the  money   to  be                                                               
distributed   to  the   entities  at   listed  percentages.   The                                                               
department simply prepares a report  to inform the legislature of                                                               
the  performance of  each institution.  It is  solely within  the                                                               
legislature's purview to make any changes.                                                                                      
MR.  CASHEN concluded  the PowerPoint  presentation and  reminded                                                               
members that  the annualized  median wage after  exit data  is an                                                               
estimate of an annual salary. He  also noted that the FY2016 TVEP                                                               
report  in the  packets provides  more detail  per recipient.  It                                                               
also  includes  other  performance   outcomes  such  as  improved                                                               
graduation  rates  and  college  credits  earned  while  in  high                                                               
2:45:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO opened public testimony on SB 85.                                                                                
2:45:36 PM                                                                                                                    
FRED  VILLA,   Associate  Vice  President,   Workforce  Programs,                                                               
University  of  Alaska  Fairbanks, encouraged  the  committee  to                                                               
reauthorize  the TVEP  program.  He described  it  as a  critical                                                               
investment  in  Alaska's  future, particularly  in  economic  and                                                               
workforce development.  Responding the Senator  Meyer's question,                                                               
he explained that the university  receives a single allocation to                                                               
the UA System. The funds are  used to shape and enhance workforce                                                               
development programs  and to help graduates  find employment once                                                               
they complete  both credit and noncredit  programs. These include                                                               
occupational endorsements,  certificates, associate  and bachelor                                                               
degrees,   as   well   as    some   post-graduate   degrees   and                                                               
He explained that the university  has established some guidelines                                                               
for  investing  in programs  for  workforce  development for  the                                                               
state. The first area is  pre-college programs that connect youth                                                               
with career paths that help  prepare them for the academic rigors                                                               
associated  with   technical  education   and  training   in  the                                                               
postsecondary   arena.   The   second   area   is   in   academic                                                               
certification  and  degree  programs that  prepare  students  for                                                               
careers.  The   third  area   is  professional   development  and                                                               
continuing education  for those  people who already  have careers                                                               
and those looking  to transition to another career.  To this end,                                                               
the  university   provides  grants  to  high-demand   career  and                                                               
technical  education  programs  and  partnerships  for  industry-                                                               
specific, on-the-job and classroom training.                                                                                    
MR.  VILLA   explained  that  the   primary  criterion   for  the                                                               
investment  is that  it is  a high-demand  job identified  by the                                                               
Alaska  Workforce  Investment  Board.   They  also  look  at  the                                                               
economic  and  community  development  priorities  for  different                                                               
regions  across  the  state.   Another  consideration  is  career                                                               
pathways  that  provide  a  series  of  connected  education  and                                                               
training  programs and  support services  to prepare  individuals                                                               
for  a career  and to  advance successfully  to higher  levels of                                                               
education and employment.                                                                                                       
He highlighted  that all the  programs the university  invests in                                                               
have  an  industry  advisory committee  to  guide  the  programs,                                                               
ensure they  meet employer requirements, and  help graduates gain                                                               
employment.  Some of  the priority  careers the  UA TVEP  funding                                                               
supports  include  health  sciences, mining  process  technology,                                                               
manufacturing  occupations, and  transportation distribution  and                                                               
logistics. The  university is  also investing  in the  culture of                                                               
education  and teacher  preparation, and  the agriculture,  food,                                                               
and  natural   resources  cluster  that   encompasses  fisheries,                                                               
energy, and environmental sciences.  The university is leveraging                                                               
registered   apprenticeship    programs   with   competency-based                                                               
training with  university credits, and  it is expanding  its web-                                                               
based and simulation technologies  and growing other partnerships                                                               
and concurrent enrollment opportunities  for students to get into                                                               
the workplace earlier.                                                                                                          
The  Alaska   Department  of  Labor  and   Workforce  Development                                                               
projects  that 65  percent of  Alaskans  will need  postsecondary                                                               
education or training  to meet Alaska's workforce  needs by 2025.                                                               
If  the university  is to  continue to  develop the  workforce of                                                               
tomorrow, TVEP will be critical.                                                                                                
MR. VILLA referenced an earlier  question about the data on slide                                                               
12 and enumerated the challenges  of reporting that data. He said                                                               
one  challenge  is  that  people employed  in  certain  areas  of                                                               
government or the self-employed  don't appear in DOLWD employment                                                               
statistics. Another  challenge is that  a student may  complete a                                                               
course  in one  area but  not  graduate that  year because  their                                                               
degree is in another area  and they haven't completed that course                                                               
of  study.  He related  the  example  of the  process  technology                                                               
program that  was developed in  response to attrition of  oil and                                                               
gas workers  on the  North Slope. When  the university  looked at                                                               
increasing the  investment in that  program they found  that just                                                               
70  percent  of  graduates  were employed  out  of  the  program.                                                               
Further analysis  showed that many  of the  program beneficiaries                                                               
were employed  in the mining industry,  wastewater treatment, and                                                               
power  generation.  Well  over  85 percent  were  working  in  an                                                               
industry with  the knowledge  and skills  that they  developed in                                                               
the training program,  but it wasn't in  that individual industry                                                               
sector. He described  that as a major success and  opined that it                                                               
gives some clarity to the questions regarding the exit data.                                                                    
2:54:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO asked  if West  High School's  process technology                                                               
program is funded through the  university's TVEP grant or through                                                               
the base student allocation.                                                                                                    
MR. VILLA said the university  doesn't provide any direct funding                                                               
for that program  but they have partnered  with regional training                                                               
centers. The  Kenai Peninsula College process  technology program                                                               
is an example.                                                                                                                  
CHAIR COSTELLO asked him to  comment on how the university's TVEP                                                               
funds have changed over the years.                                                                                              
MR. VILLA said the percentage  of TVEP funding the university has                                                               
received  has varied  through  the years,  largely  based on  the                                                               
number  of recipients.  Fortunately,  the  legislature helped  to                                                               
stabilize the  funding by  increasing the  total amount  of money                                                               
available to the  recipients. He opined that  that employing that                                                               
same mechanism could ensure that  the identified training centers                                                               
don't  suffer   a  reduction  should  additional   recipients  be                                                               
identified now or in the future.                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO asked  if he  provided  a list  of entities  that                                                               
receive TVEP funding through the university.                                                                                    
MR.  VILLA said  no,  but  50 grants  were  disbursed across  the                                                               
system in 2017, which included virtually every campus.                                                                          
CHAIR  COSTELLO  asked if  the  university  has a  memorandum  of                                                               
agreement (MOA) with the Fairbanks Pipeline Training Center.                                                                    
MR.  VILLA said  yes; in  2008  the legislature  directed that  a                                                               
portion of  the university receipts  should pass through  to that                                                               
organization. The allocation  at that time was  $882,400. The MOA                                                               
stipulates that the training center  is accountable for reporting                                                               
training data that is required in the current legislation.                                                                      
SENATOR STEVENS asked where he  could find the administrative and                                                               
overhead costs of  the programs that receive  TVEP grants through                                                               
the university.                                                                                                                 
MR. VILLA explained  that the University System  pays one support                                                               
person $130,000 to help administer  the TVEP program. Beyond that                                                               
there  may  be grants  for  faculty,  equipment, and  first-time,                                                               
continuation, or one-time funding.  First-time funding is usually                                                               
to setup  a program that has  been identified as in  high demand.                                                               
Continuation funding  is to  test that program  is viable  and to                                                               
find  long-term funding.  One-time funding  is for  technical and                                                               
equipment   upgrades  to   current   standards.  The   university                                                               
generally does not do capital funding.                                                                                          
SENATOR  STEVENS asked  if information  about the  administrative                                                               
and overhead costs can be found in the reports of the grantees.                                                                 
MR. VILLA indicated he didn't hear the question.                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO  said Senator Steven's  asked if  the university's                                                               
TVEP  grant  recipients  use  any  of  the  funding  for  capital                                                               
MR. VILLA said not that he recalls in recent history.                                                                           
3:04:24 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. PEARL  BROWER, President,  Ilisagvik College,  Barrow, stated                                                               
that  Ilisagvik is  Alaska's  only tribal  college  and its  only                                                               
independent community college. Last  fall Ilisagvik was rated the                                                               
number two community  college in the nation,  and Alaska's number                                                               
one  community  college.  It  is a  public  institution  that  is                                                               
accredited   by  the   Northwest  Commission   on  Colleges   and                                                               
DR.  BROWER  said   she  is  testifying  in  support   of  SB  85                                                               
reauthorizing  the Technical  and  Vocational Education  Program,                                                               
but for five years as stated  in the House legislation. The five-                                                               
year extension is important because  it provides time for forward                                                               
thinking and  planning for the  future. Ilisagvik joins  the nine                                                               
other  organizations that  are part  of the  program. The  common                                                               
mission is to provide quality  workforce development education to                                                               
support  the needs  of  Alaskans. She  reported  that in  FY2016,                                                               
Ilisagvik  served   696  unduplicated   adult  students   and  32                                                               
unduplicated high school students.  The 2016 performance measures                                                               
show  that  82.7  percent  of  their  TVEP-funded  students  were                                                               
employed  one year  after exit  or the  end of  the program.  The                                                               
median wage was over $24,000 7-12 months after exit.                                                                            
Using the  TVEP funding, Ilisagvik offers  training opportunities                                                               
across  the  state  and  provides residents  the  ability  to  be                                                               
credentialed, to get  a job, or to advance in  their current job.                                                               
She  highlighted that  many Ilisagvik  students are  employed and                                                               
they need to  be recertified to maintain  employment. The college                                                               
works  directly  with employers  to  assess  need and  provide  a                                                               
skilled workforce. Without the current  structure of TVEP funding                                                               
Ilisagvik could  not reach  as many Alaskans  or provide  as many                                                               
workforce   training  opportunities   as  it   does  today.   She                                                               
emphasized  the  importance of  continuing  to  make education  a                                                               
CHAIR  COSTELLO  advised that  the  House  bill reauthorizes  the                                                               
program  for  five   years,  whereas  SB  85   has  a  three-year                                                               
SENATOR  STEVENS  asked what  jobs  Ilisagvik  graduates get  for                                                               
$24,000 7-12 months after exit.                                                                                                 
DR. BROWER  suggested Kathy  Leary respond  to the  question. She                                                               
said in  general, most of  the students are already  employed and                                                               
attend school  to get certification  or continuing  education for                                                               
things like  wastewater treatment  or water  treatment or  in the                                                               
health field.                                                                                                                   
3:09:06 PM                                                                                                                    
KATHY  LEARY, Ilisagvik  College, Barrow,  said she  doesn't know                                                               
the formula that  is used to determine the median  wage, but many                                                               
of  the  jobs  that  students receive  after  they  finish  their                                                               
training  are  short-term  and  project-specific.  If  they  were                                                               
employed full time the reported wage would probably be higher.                                                                  
SENATOR   STEVENS  said   he  might   ask  the   department  what                                                               
"annualized  median wage  after  exit" means  because $48,000  is                                                               
MS. LEARY  added that Ilisagvik  College tries to  maximize costs                                                               
by  putting as  many people  in  a class  as possible,  including                                                               
people who are also working and paying into the fund.                                                                           
CHAIR COSTELLO  asked Ms. Leary  if she had general  testimony on                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
MS.  LEARY stated  that whenever  possible  Ilisagvik shares  the                                                               
cost of instruction  with employers. She cited  training for jobs                                                               
in wastewater  treatment as an  example. She explained  that they                                                               
support  the   five-year  extension  because  it   provides  more                                                               
stability and helps with scheduling programs.                                                                                   
3:13:43 PM                                                                                                                    
ANISHIA   ELBIE,   Co-Executive    Director,   Southwest   Alaska                                                               
Vocational and  Education Center  (SAVEC), King Salmon,  said she                                                               
is speaking  in support of SB  85 to reauthorize the  funding for                                                               
the  Alaska Workforce  Investment Board,  but with  the five-year                                                               
extension that the House passed.  She pointed out that as taxable                                                               
wages decline,  TVEP will have  a $1.2 million  shortfall. Should                                                               
the  3  percent  distribution  continue,  SAVEC's  receipts  will                                                               
decrease  $39,600  in FY2018.  She  said  that as  taxable  wages                                                               
decline throughout the  state and workers are  displaced, it will                                                               
be  more  important  for  workforce  training  to  continue.  She                                                               
highlighted that  fishing and support industries  are critical to                                                               
Alaska's economy. SAVEC is working  to improve seafood processing                                                               
industries  and  is emphasizing  Alaska  hire.  This has  been  a                                                               
problem in  the Bristol Bay  region. The Bristol Bay  Borough has                                                               
93.8  percent  nonresident  hire,  Dillingham  has  84.6  percent                                                               
nonresident hire,  and the  Lake and  Peninsula Borough  has 91.3                                                               
percent nonresident hire.  She estimated that is  more than 3,300                                                               
jobs and  $29 million  that could  have stayed  in the  state and                                                               
multiplied in local and state economies.                                                                                        
She  listed  the  entities  that  SAVEC  partners  with  to  fund                                                               
workforce  training.  Since  fall  2016, SAVEC  has  trained  198                                                               
adults  in 28  separate  courses. She  noted  that the  committee                                                               
heard that  74.8 percent  of SAVEC trainees  are employed  1 year                                                               
after exit. SAVEC  training has contributed greatly  to the local                                                               
and state  economy. According  to the  state's September  14 wage                                                               
report, SAVEC's 115 HAZWOPER  refresher trainees contributed over                                                               
$5  million  to the  state's  economy  in  the first  year  after                                                               
training.  SAVEC  and the  other  regional  training centers  are                                                               
committed to training Alaskans for Alaskan jobs.                                                                                
3:19:06 PM                                                                                                                    
DOUGLAS J.  WALRATH, Ph.D., Director, Northwestern  Alaska Career                                                               
and  Technical  Center  (NACTEC),   Nome,  Alaska,  testified  in                                                               
support  of  reauthorizing  TVEP.  He stated  that  the  regional                                                               
training center  network that is  supported through  TVEP funding                                                               
provides autonomy  and flexibility  to meet  the unique  needs of                                                               
each region's priority industries.                                                                                              
He  said NACTC's  approach is  unique  and was  developed at  the                                                               
grassroots level  about 15 years  ago to meet the  regional needs                                                               
and  address high  dropout  rates. The  approach  was to  develop                                                               
vocational and workforce development  training at the high school                                                               
level. Five  years before  TVEP funding  was available  to NACTC,                                                               
the  graduation  rate  in  the   Bering  Strait  School  District                                                               
averaged 39 percent.                                                                                                            
Addressing the  question about cost  per student in  urban versus                                                               
rural areas,  he pointed out  that students from the  15 villages                                                               
outlying  Nome  would  be  without  the  opportunity  to  receive                                                               
vocational  training  if it  weren't  for  the Regional  Training                                                               
Center network. The  average cost to fly from  a regional village                                                               
to Nome for training is $485.                                                                                                   
DR. WALRATH explained that NACTC  partnered with the Norton Sound                                                               
Health Corporation to meet their  needs for certified nurse aides                                                               
(CNA)  and  village  health  aides.  A  series  of  courses  were                                                               
developed  to expose  students  to health  care  careers in  high                                                               
school   that   lead   to  vocational   training   programs   and                                                               
certification for CNA and ETT  (emergency trauma technician). The                                                               
success  rate  for  certification  and summer  employment  is  93                                                               
percent. Without  this partnership, students would  need to leave                                                               
the  area for  this training.  This is  an opportunity  for local                                                               
training that has a high success rate.                                                                                          
DR. WALRATH  said another high  priority in the region  is driver                                                               
education  training. Responding  to  the  earlier question  about                                                               
matching training to the specific  area of employment, he related                                                               
that two health aides and  a village police safety officer (VPSO)                                                               
took Driver Education  training from NACTEC and  got the licenses                                                               
that were required  for their work, but their  area of employment                                                               
doesn't   match  that   training.  He   concluded  his   comments                                                               
emphasizing  the  importance  of  the  outreach  to  high  school                                                               
students in this region. "It's a wise use of funds."                                                                            
3:25:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO  informed  members  that the  bill  packets  have                                                               
copies  of  the  TVEP  report.  Northwestern  Alaska  Career  and                                                               
Technical Center is on page 18.                                                                                                 
[CHAIR COSTELLO held SB 85 in committee.]                                                                                       
3:25:52 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Costello adjourned the Senate Labor and Commerce Standing                                                                 
Committee meeting at 3:25 p.m.                                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 49 - Background Document - MID Fee Analysis.pdf SL&C 4/11/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 49
HB 49 - Fiscal Note.pdf SL&C 4/11/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 49
HB 49 - Background Document - Leg. Audit Sunset.pdf SL&C 4/11/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 49
HB 49 - Leg. Research - Board of Direct Entry Midwives.pdf SL&C 4/11/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 49
HB 49 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SL&C 4/11/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 49
HB 49.PDF SL&C 4/11/2017 1:30:00 PM
HB 49
CS SCR 10 (L&C) - Ver. O.PDF SL&C 4/11/2017 1:30:00 PM
SCR 10