Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/08/2018 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 157 LIFE & HEALTH INSURANCE GUARANTY ASSN. TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 205 TELECOMMUNICATIONS REGULATION/EXEMPTIONS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= SB 62 REPEAL CERTIFICATE OF NEED PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 86 STUDENT LOAN DEFAULT/OCC. LICENSE RENEWAL TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 86 Out of Committee
+= SB 112 WORKERS COMPENSATION;DRUG DATABASE & TEST TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          SENATE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                        
                         March 8, 2018                                                                                          
                           1:32 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Mia Costello, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Kevin Meyer, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Senator Berta Gardner                                                                                                           
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 86                                                                                                               
"An  Act  relating to  nonrenewal  of  occupational licenses  for                                                               
default on a student loan."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 86 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 205                                                                                                             
"An  Act relating  to the  Regulatory Commission  of Alaska;  and                                                               
relating to telecommunications  regulations, exemptions, charges,                                                               
and rates."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 62                                                                                                              
"An  Act repealing  the certificate  of need  program for  health                                                               
care facilities; making conforming  amendments; and providing for                                                               
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 112                                                                                      
"An  Act  relating  to   the  controlled  substance  prescription                                                               
database;   relating   to   disability;   excluding   independent                                                               
contractors  from   workers'  compensation   coverage;  employer-                                                               
required drug  testing; relating to the  office of administrative                                                               
hearings; and providing  for an effective date."  relating to the                                                               
Alaska Workers'  Compensation Board;  relating to the  payment of                                                               
workers'  compensation  or   benefits;  relating  to  compensable                                                               
injuries; relating to rehabilitation  and reemployment of injured                                                               
workers;  relating  to  reemployment vouchers;  relating  to  the                                                               
treatment  or care  of employees;  relating to  use of  evidence-                                                               
based   treatment   guidelines;   relating  to   prescribing   or                                                               
dispensing  a   controlled  substance   to  an  employee   for  a                                                               
compensable   injury;    relating   to    workers'   compensation                                                               
prehearings;  relating  to  the  filing of  claims  for  workers'                                                               
compensation benefits or petitions  for other relief; relating to                                                               
the  burden of  proof and  credibility of  witnesses in  workers'                                                               
compensation matters; relating to  attorney fees; relating to the                                                               
filing of a  verified annual report; relating  to permanent total                                                               
disability; relating to temporary total                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 157                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to  the  Alaska  Life  and  Health  Insurance                                                               
Guaranty Association; and providing for an effective date."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  86                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: STUDENT LOAN DEFAULT/OCC. LICENSE RENEWAL                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) CLAMAN                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
01/27/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/27/17       (H)       EDC, L&C                                                                                               
03/01/17       (H)       EDC RPT 7DP                                                                                            
03/01/17       (H)       DP:  TALERICO, PARISH,  KOPP, SPOHNHOLZ,                                                               
                         JOHNSTON, FANSLER, DRUMMOND                                                                            
03/01/17       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/01/17       (H)       Moved  HB 86 Out of Committee                                                                          
03/01/17       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
03/22/17       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/22/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/22/17       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/24/17       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/24/17       (H)       Moved  HB 86 Out of Committee                                                                          
03/24/17       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/27/17       (H)       L&C RPT 6DP 1NR                                                                                        
03/27/17       (H)       DP:   SULLIVAN-LEONARD,  STUTES,   WOOL,                                                               
                         JOSEPHSON, BIRCH, KITO                                                                                 
03/27/17       (H)       NR: KNOPP                                                                                              
03/29/17       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/29/17       (H)       VERSION: HB 86                                                                                         
03/31/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/31/17       (S)       EDC, L&C                                                                                               
04/12/17       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/12/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/12/17       (S)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/14/17       (S)       EDC RPT  4DP                                                                                           
04/14/17       (S)       DP: STEVENS, BEGICH, COGHILL, HUGHES                                                                   
04/14/17       (S)       EDC AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/14/17       (S)       Moved HB 86 Out of Committee                                                                           
04/14/17       (S)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
01/30/18       (S)       L&C AT 1:00 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
01/30/18       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/30/18       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/08/18       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 205                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: TELECOMMUNICATIONS REGULATION/EXEMPTIONS                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) MEYER                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/19/18       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/19/18       (S)       L&C                                                                                                    
02/27/18       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/27/18       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/27/18       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/08/18       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  62                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REPEAL CERTIFICATE OF NEED PROGRAM                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) WILSON                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
02/17/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/17/17       (S)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
04/06/17       (S)       L&C AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/06/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/06/17       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/06/17       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/06/17       (S)       -- Testimony <Invitation Only> --                                                                      
04/07/17       (S)       L&C AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/07/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/07/17       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/06/18       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/06/18       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/06/18       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/08/18       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 112                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: WORKERS COMPENSATION;DRUG DATABASE & TEST                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) GIESSEL                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
04/12/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/12/17       (S)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
01/22/18       (S)       SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-REFERRALS                                                                
01/22/18       (S)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
02/01/18       (S)       L&C AT 1:00 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/01/18       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/01/18       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/08/18       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MATT CLAMAN                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 86.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
NATASHA MCCLANAHAN, Staff                                                                                                       
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced the committee substitute for SB                                                                
205, committee substitute for SB 62, and committee substitute                                                                   
for SB 112.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
EDRA MORLEDGE, Staff                                                                                                            
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information on SB 205 on behalf of                                                               
the bill sponsor.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
STEPHEN MCALPINE, Chair                                                                                                         
Regulatory Commission of Alaska                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information on SB 205.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE O'CONNER, Executive Director                                                                                          
Alaska Telecom Association (ATA)                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information on SB 205.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
GARY ZEPP, Staff                                                                                                                
Senator David Wilson                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information on  SB 62 on  behalf of                                                             
the sponsor.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEAN MISCHEL, Legislative Counsel                                                                                               
Legislative Legal Services                                                                                                      
Legislative Affairs Agency                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: As drafter, provided information on SB 62.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
KARI NORE, Staff                                                                                                                
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Delivered the  sectional analysis for version                                                             
L of SB 112 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:32:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MIA COSTELLO called the  Senate Labor and Commerce Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:32  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were Senators Gardner, Stevens,  Meyer, Micciche, and Chair                                                               
Costello.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
        HB  86-STUDENT LOAN DEFAULT/OCC. LICENSE RENEWAL                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:33:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  announced the  consideration of  HB 86  and asked                                                               
the sponsor to provide a summary.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:33:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MATT CLAMAN,  Alaska  State Legislature,  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska, sponsor  of HB  86, said the  bill repeals  statutes that                                                               
allow the Alaska Commission on  Postsecondary Education (ACPE) to                                                               
threaten nonrenewal of occupational  licenses for individuals who                                                               
have defaulted on student loans. In  the past, those who have had                                                               
their  licenses revoked  have  often  left the  state  to set  up                                                               
practice  elsewhere. The  state  not only  loses  the ability  to                                                               
collect but  also a skilled  member of the Alaska  workforce. The                                                               
ACPE  has  not  used  this  authority  since  2010  because  wage                                                               
garnishment is more  effective. It makes sense  to eliminate this                                                               
punitive and ineffective method of student loan debt collection.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO found no questions and solicited a motion.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:34:50 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER moved to report  [HB 86], version A, from committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s).                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:35:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO found  no objection  and announced  that [HB  86]                                                               
moved from the Senate Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:35:13 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO reconvened the meeting  and advised that the wrong                                                               
bill number was read in the previous motion.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:35:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER rescinded  the previous motion and  moved to report                                                               
HB 86, version A, from  committee with individual recommendations                                                               
and attached fiscal note(s).                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:36:14 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  stated that without  objection, HB 86  moved from                                                               
the Senate Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:36:28 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
        SB 205-TELECOMMUNICATIONS REGULATION/EXEMPTIONS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:39:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO   reconvened  the   meeting  and   announced  the                                                               
consideration  of  SB  205.  She  noted  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:39:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MEYER moved  to  adopt the  work draft  CS  for SB  205,                                                               
labeled 30-LS1431\D, as the working document.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:40:10 PM                                                                                                                    
NATASHA  MCCLANAHAN, Staff,  Senator Mia  Costello, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, reviewed  the following changes from                                                               
version A to version D of SB 205:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
        • Sec. 5 was removed due to an open docket with the                                                                     
          Regulatory Commission of Alaska (R-18-001) in                                                                         
          relation to exchange access charges and the                                                                           
          administration of those charges.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
        • The reference to AS 42.05.850 in sec. 7 was also                                                                      
          removed due to the open docket with the                                                                               
          Regulatory Commission of Alaska (R-18-001).                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
        • Sections renumbered accordingly.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO identified  the individuals  available to  answer                                                               
questions. She asked Ms. Morledge if she had anything to add.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:41:16 PM                                                                                                                    
EDRA  MORLEDGE,   Staff,  Senator   Kevin  Meyer,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, said  the committee substitute makes                                                               
the relatively minor change of removing Section 5.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO asked  if removing Section 5 and  the reference in                                                               
Section 7  due to  an open docket  would increase  the likelihood                                                               
that portions of the bill  would come back before the legislature                                                               
in the future.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MORLEDGE said  she didn't believe so, but she  would defer to                                                               
the RCA commissioner who was on line.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:42:08 PM                                                                                                                    
STEPHEN  MCALPINE,   Chair,  Regulatory  Commission   of  Alaska,                                                               
Anchorage,  Alaska,   said  he   can't  answer  that   until  the                                                               
commission has  the public  hearing which  is scheduled  for next                                                               
Wednesday.  Whether   a  matter   is  brought  back   before  the                                                               
legislature is dependent  upon who may disagree  with the outcome                                                               
of the commission's work. The  regulation itself is dealt with in                                                               
public.   Several  public   meetings  are   typically  held   and                                                               
interested parties are invited to comment.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:43:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTINE   O'CONNER,   Executive    Director,   Alaska   Telecom                                                               
Association  (ATA), Anchorage,  Alaska,  said  she didn't  expect                                                               
that  Section 5  and  the corresponding  reference  in Section  7                                                               
would be brought back to the  legislature based on the outcome of                                                               
the docket. ATA  is working with the RCA  through docket R-18-001                                                               
to  create a  new version  and  updates to  the Alaska  Universal                                                               
Service Fund. This change will be involved in the resolution.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:44:25 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GARDNER  asked  Commissioner  McAlpine if  the  RCA  had                                                               
concerns about or had taken a position on SB 205.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCALPINE said the RCA has  done a preliminary analysis of the                                                               
bill and  found it does a  tremendous amount of change  in a page                                                               
and a  half. Some  of the changes  would significantly  alter the                                                               
way the  RCA does  business at  the commission  and significantly                                                               
alter   the  relationship   between   the   commission  and   the                                                               
telecommunications  industry. Although  some have  said that  the                                                               
bill  does  not affect  the  Alaska  Universal Service  Fund,  he                                                               
believes the  completed analysis will  show that the  bill offers                                                               
significant  changes. He  anticipates that  the RCA  will take  a                                                               
position on the bill after the public meetings are complete.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARDNER asked  if  he believes  that  consumers will  be                                                               
better off or worse off with passage of SB 205.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCALPINE said he would answer  with an example. When he heard                                                               
the comment  that the bill  would result in  significant consumer                                                               
changes to RCC  [regulatory cost charges] payments,  he looked at                                                               
his own telephone bill. One bill  shows a $0.16 charge as opposed                                                               
to  the Alaska  Universal Service  Fund, where  the bill  shows a                                                               
$4.87 charge  plus a  $4.00 charge that  is billed  directly from                                                               
the  telephone company  and collected  by the  telephone company.                                                               
Then there is  the federal Universal Service Charge,  which is an                                                               
additional  $3.04.  Totaling  those   numbers  shows  the  Alaska                                                               
Universal  Service Fund  in many  instances surpasses  the amount                                                               
that is  collected at the federal  level. At the last  look, 19.1                                                               
percent  of an  individual's bill  was for  the Alaska  Universal                                                               
Service Fund and 19 percent was the federal amount.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCALPINE  said one of the  things the regulation looks  at is                                                               
trying to  gain control  over the  ever-increasing charge  to the                                                               
consumer  on the  Alaska  Universal Service  Fund.  SB 205  would                                                               
cease the payment of the regulatory  cost charges   the $0.16, as                                                               
of June 30, 2019. The RCA  still has to maintain staff to perform                                                               
the federal services as well  as going through regulatory matters                                                               
and legislative matters. The staff  has been reduced from five to                                                               
two. But getting  rid of the regulatory cost  charges (RCCs) does                                                               
not  affect  the  amount  of  time  and  labor  these  staff  are                                                               
investing. It just eliminates the  telephony industry from having                                                               
to pay  their share  of that. In  addition, the  electric, water,                                                               
sewer, garbage,  all of the  other utilities, would have  to make                                                               
up  for that  because it's  basically pro-rata  on the  amount of                                                               
time the RCA spends with the various industries.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He said  he imagines  after the  commission has  done a  full and                                                               
detailed  analysis  as  well  as   holding  public  meetings  and                                                               
comments the RCA will be better able to inform the committee.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARDNER  said she  looks forward to  the report  once the                                                               
analysis is complete.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER asked  when the committee could  expect the results                                                               
of the public meetings and comments and the full analysis.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCALPINE said the commission  did the initial analysis in two                                                               
days and  staff is working  on it  now. The first  public meeting                                                               
for  this agenda  item is  scheduled for  next Wednesday  and the                                                               
analysis should be complete by March 19, 2018.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:50:52 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:51:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  reconvened the meeting and  welcomed Ms. O'Connor                                                               
to respond to Mr. McAlpine's comments.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:52:10 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  O'CONNOR said  SB  205  does not  change  AS 42.05.254  that                                                               
authorizes the RCA  to self-fund. The transition  will allow time                                                               
to  adjust the  RCCs  to  actual cost.  The  bill does  eliminate                                                               
activity that  the telecommunications  industry generates  to the                                                               
RCA. These are things like  tariff filings and reports about long                                                               
distance competition.  She noted that she  described those things                                                               
when  she  testified  previously.  There  will  definitely  be  a                                                               
decrease  in activity  and the  transition will  provide time  to                                                               
develop a mechanism to assess actual costs per AS 42.05.254.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:53:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER said she had  contact with concerned constituents                                                               
who had  misunderstood the  bill the  same way  she had.  Two who                                                               
cannot get good  cell phone reception worried  about losing their                                                               
landlines in outlying areas and Ms.  O'Connor was going to put on                                                               
the  record that  they would  not be  in danger  of losing  their                                                               
landlines.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  O'CONNER said  SB  205  does not  change  the obligation  to                                                               
provide  landline service.  That  obligation  exists through  the                                                               
certificate  of public  convenience  and necessity,  which is  AS                                                               
42.05.261 and  AS 42.05.271.  There must  be permission  from the                                                               
RCA  to  do  that.  A  provision in  regulation,  3  AAC  52.365,                                                               
prohibits  long  distance  carriers  from  discontinuing  service                                                               
without RCA permission.  There is another level  of federal rules                                                               
that require  companies to ask  permission. She noted  48 percent                                                               
of  households have  landlines. They  are committed  to providing                                                               
that service.  They are  just trying to  make the  paperwork less                                                               
expensive for themselves and the RCA.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:55:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  said it is  not her  intention to slow  the bill,                                                               
but in  the interest of the  public process it should  be held in                                                               
committee until they have the position of the RCA.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER  asked for  a description  of the  Alaska Universal                                                               
Fund.  Chair McAlpine  expressed  concern about  not getting  the                                                               
money from  that anymore.  He did  not understand  the difference                                                               
between that and the RCC fund.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. O'CONNER said the Alaska  Universal Service Fund comes from a                                                               
surcharge   on   customer   bills.   That   fund   supports   the                                                               
telecommunications networks in Alaska  and is distributed through                                                               
the  Alaska  Universal   Service  Administrative  Company,  which                                                               
reports  to  the  RCA.  The funds  support  voice  and  broadband                                                               
service because  the networks today support  all services. Docket                                                               
R-18-001  is open  at  the  RCA to  modernize  that.  Due to  the                                                               
declining  number of  landlines  that support  that  fund, it  is                                                               
funded by an  assessment on certain revenues.  That surcharge has                                                               
increased to 19  percent and they feel it's too  high. They filed                                                               
a comprehensive  proposal in the docket  last Monday to set  a 10                                                               
percent cap.  It will  have an impact  on companies'  support for                                                               
remote areas, but  they felt it needed to happen  in the consumer                                                               
interest. It is  not connected to this bill.  The regulatory cost                                                               
charge  that  is  allowed  to  the  RCA  under  AS  42.05.254  is                                                               
connected and it is much smaller.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER  said there  is talk  that this  bill would  have a                                                               
negative  impact on  rural households  and the  commissioner said                                                               
other utility companies.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  O'CONNER said  there  will  be no  adverse  effect on  rural                                                               
communities. Some  of the  companies that  will benefit  the most                                                               
from having  more efficiencies in  not having to do  filings that                                                               
are characterized  as unactionable  serve rural areas.  They will                                                               
devote any  resources they save  to operating their  networks. It                                                               
is not the  intent to impact other utility  companies. They fully                                                               
expect  to  pay   the  cost  of  any   continuing  oversight  and                                                               
regulations of  the telecommunications industry. It  will be much                                                               
reduced. Should  issues regarding telecommunications come  to the                                                               
RCA, that  self-funding statute allows  the assessment  of actual                                                               
cost. They are  open to proposals and suggestions.  The intent is                                                               
not  to  disrupt the  activities.  They  are  trying to  be  more                                                               
efficient for the industry and the RCA.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER  summarized that should  SB 205 pass,  there should                                                               
be less activity for the RCA  and there will also be less revenue                                                               
coming in.  He said,  "But the  two in  your mind  should balance                                                               
out. Is that fair?"                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. O'CONNER said yes and that  is why ATA proposed the year-long                                                               
extension of  the effective date. It  is to ensure that  there is                                                               
no disruption.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO asked  Mr. McAlpine if the RCA  will use testimony                                                               
from this committee in its review of the impact of the bill.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCALPINE replied that's a definite yes.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO asked if the sponsor had anything to add.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. MORLEDGE  pointed out  that the fiscal  note was  prepared by                                                               
the RCA  on February 23, 2018.  She added, "I think  perhaps they                                                               
have  been  continuing their  analysis  of  the bill  since  that                                                               
time."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:01:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO   removed  her  objection.  Finding   no  further                                                               
objection, version D of SB 205 was adopted.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
[SB 205 was held in committee.]                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:01:51 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
            SB  62-REPEAL CERTIFICATE OF NEED PROGRAM                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:04:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   COSTELLO   reconvened    the   meeting,   announced   the                                                               
consideration  of  SB  62,  and   noted  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:05:02 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MEYER moved  to  adopt  the work  draft  CS  for SB  62,                                                               
labeled 30-LS0502\D, as the working document.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:05:19 PM                                                                                                                    
NATASHA  MCCLANAHAN, Staff,  Senator Mia  Costello, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau,  Alaska,  explained the  following  changes                                                               
from version A to version D of SB 62:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     SB 62 version A would  have repealed the certificate of                                                                    
     need  program for  healthcare  facilities. After  three                                                                    
     committee  hearings   in  Senate  Labor   and  Commerce                                                                    
     changes  were   made  to   the  legislation   based  on                                                                    
     conversations with stakeholders and public testimony.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     SB  62  version D  allows  for  an exemption  from  the                                                                    
     certificate of need program if  the new construction of                                                                    
     a healthcare  facility, alteration of bed  capacity, or                                                                    
     addition  of a  category  of health  services  is in  a                                                                    
     location   that  is   over  100   miles  from   another                                                                    
     healthcare facility. This removes  a barrier for remote                                                                    
     communities  that are  currently struggling  to attract                                                                    
     and retain healthcare services in  an effort to provide                                                                    
     equal access to care for all Alaskans.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:06:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO removed  her objection and version  D was adopted.                                                               
She noted  an attorney  from legislative  legal was  available to                                                               
answer  questions. She  asked  Mr.  Zepp to  comment  on how  the                                                               
committee  substitute changes  the scope  of  the bill.  It is  a                                                               
tailored  response  to the  testimony  the  committee heard  from                                                               
Interior Alaskans about their inability  to access health care in                                                               
the community. She  noted that the next committee  of referral is                                                               
Finance.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
GARY   ZEPP,   Staff,   Senator  David   Wilson,   Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, said the  evolution of the  bill is                                                               
in  the right  direction for  the people  of Delta.  The original                                                               
intent was  for communities to  decide and remove  the government                                                               
barriers that are currently in  place for the certificate of need                                                               
program. While the bill isn't as  broad in scope, he believes the                                                               
sponsor  would  be pleased  that  it  is still  helping  Alaskans                                                               
provide   health   care   services  and   facilities   in   their                                                               
communities.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO said  the committee also heard  that going through                                                               
the process of certificate of  need was valuable. Communities can                                                               
still go  through that process.  She noted that they  reached out                                                               
to  the  Department of  Health  and  Social Services  (DHSS)  for                                                               
information about applications received  and what communities are                                                               
paying. There  was a recognition  that the  regulations regarding                                                               
certificate of need have not been  updated in some time. Her hope                                                               
is that  as this version  of the bill  moves forward, it  sends a                                                               
message to the department that  updating the regulations would be                                                               
helpful. She  looks forward to  discussion in the  Senate Finance                                                               
because it  surrounds the  cost of health  care. Whether  this is                                                               
the answer remains to be seen.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:10:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER asked if the  committee could expect to hear from                                                               
the Department  of Health  and Social  Services on  the committee                                                               
substitute and see updated fiscal notes.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO said  it was  her understanding  that DHSS  won't                                                               
state a position on the bill until it looks like it will pass.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCCLANAHAN  agreed; a  letter to that  effect from  [the DHSS                                                               
deputy commissioner] is in the backup documents.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:11:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  commented that it's  backward to think  that the                                                               
department won't get  involved until it looks like  the bill will                                                               
pass.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO  said unless it's  a governor's bill,  that's been                                                               
the common approach.  She said her office could reach  out to the                                                               
department  and see  if they  have  a position  on the  committee                                                               
substitute.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:11:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE said  the change  to AS  18.07.031(a) adds  the                                                               
words  "in a  location  within 100  miles  of another  healthcare                                                               
facility."  The  applicability  seems  to  require  two  parts  -                                                               
located more  than 100  miles from  another health  care facility                                                               
and that it  has an existing certificate of need  issued by DHSS.                                                               
He asked  when a certificate  of need  exists, does it  remain in                                                               
effect after  the construction  and during  the operation  of the                                                               
health care  facility or at some  point, could it be  closed down                                                               
after the project is complete  and would the applicability affect                                                               
the outcome of Section 1.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:12:59 PM                                                                                                                    
JEAN  MISCHEL, Legislative  Counsel, Legislative  Legal Services,                                                               
Legislative  Affairs Agency,  Alaska  State Legislature,  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska, said  the applicability provision  is essentially  a hold                                                               
harmless provision.  The courts  have found that  certificates of                                                               
need have  some value and  are construed as a  property interest.                                                               
They  exist during  the operation  of the  health care  facility;                                                               
they  don't go  away after  construction. They're  attached, they                                                               
get renewed, and modified over time.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MICCICHE  commented  that   exactly  100  miles  is  not                                                               
covered. Section 1  has more than 100 miles  in applicability and                                                               
within  100 miles,  which is  somewhat  less than  100 miles.  He                                                               
asked if  that is a  potential problem. Although the  chance that                                                               
it is  exactly between  100 and  101 miles is  rare, he  asked if                                                               
that is a gap the committee should clarify.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MISCHEL  said she  didn't  see  the gap.  Legislative  legal                                                               
interprets  "within 100  miles" to  include 100  miles and  "more                                                               
than 100 miles" would be anything over 100 miles.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:15:04 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO stated  she would hold SB 62  until the Department                                                               
of Health and Social Services  provided an updated opinion on the                                                               
topic.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MCCLANAHAN clarified  that the  letter was  from the  deputy                                                               
commissioner of DHSS, not the commissioner.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:15:28 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
        SB 112-WORKERS COMPENSATION;DRUG DATABASE & TEST                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:17:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  announced the consideration  of SB 112  and noted                                                               
the proposed committee substitute (CS).                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:17:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER  moved to  adopt the  work draft  CS for  SSSB 112,                                                               
version 30-LS0318\L, as the working document.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:18:06 PM                                                                                                                    
NATASHA  MCCLANAHAN,   Staff,  Senator  Costello,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, reviewed  the following changes from                                                               
version R to version L of SB 112.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     The following changes were  made based on conversations                                                                    
     with  stakeholders,  public  testimony at  the  initial                                                                    
     hearing before the Senate  Labor and Commerce Committee                                                                    
     and  based  on  conversations with  the  Department  of                                                                    
     Labor:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
        • The transferring of hearing duties  from Hearing                                                                      
          Officers   to   the   Office   of   Administrative                                                                    
          Hearings, Administrative Law Judges was removed.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
        • The PDMP/Controlled   Substance  sections   were                                                                      
         revised to prevent possible HIPPA violations.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
        • Changes to the  Workers Comp  Board  composition                                                                      
          have been removed.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
        • Permanent Total Disability  benefit  termination                                                                      
          has been removed.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
        • Permanent Partial Impairment benefit termination                                                                      
          and lump sum payment have been removed.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
        • Temporary Total Disability benefit termination at                                                                     
          104 weeks has been removed.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
        • The repeal and   reenacting  of  the  vocational                                                                      
          rehabilitation program to a voucher system has                                                                        
          been removed.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
        • Reference to an employer choosing a physician has                                                                     
          been removed.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
        • Reporting duties of the Medical  Services Review                                                                      
          Committee have been removed.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:19:30 PM                                                                                                                    
KARI NORE, Staff, Senator Cathy Giessel, Alaska State                                                                           
Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, delivered the following sectional                                                                  
analysis for version L of SB 112 on behalf of the sponsor:                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
     Section  1:  Amends  AS  23.10.620   by  adding  a  new                                                                  
     subsection to allow an employer  to require an employee                                                                    
     to  undergo  drug  testing if  the  employee  has  been                                                                    
     prescribed a controlled substance under AS 23.30.096.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section  2: Repeals  and  reenacts  AS 23.30.010(a)  to                                                                  
     provide that  a compensable injury must  be established                                                                    
     using relevant  objective medical evidence and  must be                                                                    
     the   major  contributing   cause   of  any   resulting                                                                    
     condition, disability,  or need for  medical treatment.                                                                    
     Provides that  subjective complaints must  be confirmed                                                                    
     by physical examination or diagnostic testing.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:20:37 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:20:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO reconvened the meeting.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:21:05 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. NORE continued the sectional analysis for SB 112, version L.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3:  Amends AS 23.30.095(a) to  require that the                                                                  
     employer furnish  medical treatment in  accordance with                                                                    
     evidence-based  treatment  guidelines. Allows  employer                                                                    
     or  insurer  to request  a  third  party to  conduct  a                                                                    
     utilization  review for  treatment recommended  outside                                                                    
     of  the evidence-based  treatment guidelines.  Provides                                                                    
     that  if medical  treatment  is  recommended two  years                                                                    
     after  the date  of  injury, the  employee  may not  be                                                                    
     afforded  the presumption  of  compensability but  that                                                                    
     the injured will have a right to review by the board.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section  4:   Amends  AS  23.30.095(d)  to   allow  for                                                                  
     suspension of  compensation for refusal  of appropriate                                                                    
     diagnostic tests.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section  5:  Amends  AS  23.30.095(e)  to  require,  in                                                                  
     certain circumstances,  submission to examination  by a                                                                    
     mental health provider.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section   6:   Amends   AS  23.30.095(o)   to   require                                                                  
     palliative   care  after   medical   stability  to   be                                                                    
     consistent with evidence-based treatment guidelines.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section   7:  Amends   AS  23.30.095   by  adding   new                                                                  
     subsections  relating to  payment  for durable  medical                                                                    
     equipment,  prosthetics,  orthotics   or  supplies  and                                                                    
     prescription drugs.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section  8:  Amends AS  23.30  by  adding AS  23.30.096                                                                  
     relating  to   prescribing  or   dispensing  controlled                                                                    
     substances to employees.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section  9:  Amends  AS   23.30.097(d)  to  state  that                                                                  
     payment for  medical treatment  is not  due immediately                                                                    
     or  on demand,  it  is  due within  30  days after  the                                                                    
     employer receives  the provider's bill and  a completed                                                                    
     report.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section  10:  Amends AS  23.30.097(g)  to  add that  an                                                                  
     employer  shall  reimburse an  employee's  prescription                                                                    
     charges within 30 days after  the employer receives the                                                                    
     employee's request for reimbursement.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 11: Amends AS 23.30.105(a)  to replace the term                                                                  
     disability.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section  12:   Amends  AS  23.30.107(b)  to   remove  a                                                                  
     reference  related to  the  Second Independent  Medical                                                                    
     Exam.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section  13:  Amends  AS   23.30.110(e)  to  allow  for                                                                  
     electronic  submission of  the acceptance  or rejection                                                                    
     of a claims.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section 14:  Amends AS 23.30.120(a) to  require that an                                                                  
     employee   establish   a   preliminary   link   between                                                                    
     employment  and  resulting  condition,  disability,  or                                                                    
     need for  medical treatment through  objective relevant                                                                    
     medical    evidence   before    being   afforded    the                                                                    
     presumptions listed in that subsection.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section  15:   Amends  AS   23.30.120  by   adding  new                                                                  
     subsections  relating to  establishing the  preliminary                                                                    
     link and presumption under AS 23.30.120(a).                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section  16:   Amends  AS   23.30.122  by   adding  new                                                                  
     subsections   relating  to   medical  expert   and  lay                                                                    
     testimony.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section   17:  Repeals   and   reenacts  AS   23.30.145                                                                  
     governing the award and payment of attorney fees.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section  18:  Amends  AS  23.30.155(m)  to  repeal  the                                                                  
     $1,000  civil   penalty  when   an  annual   report  is                                                                    
     incomplete when filed.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section  19:  Amends  AS   23.30.230(a)  to  provide  a                                                                  
     definition of "independent contractor."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Sections 20-21:  Amend the definitions of  "arising out                                                                  
     of  and in  the  course of  employment" and  "attending                                                                    
     physician."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section  22: Repeals  AS  23.30.095(k)  (relating to  a                                                                  
     second  independent  medical evaluation),  23.30.110(g)                                                                    
     (relating  to submission  to  a physical  examination),                                                                    
     23.30.135(a) (relating to  procedure before the board),                                                                    
     23.30.155(h) (relating to the board's authority).                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section  23:  Adds   an  applicability  provision  that                                                                  
     states that secs.  2-22 of the Act apply  to claims for                                                                    
     injuries  filed  on or  after  the  effective dates  of                                                                    
     those sections.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:25:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO stated  her intention  to hold  the bill  to give                                                               
members a chance to review it.  She asked the members to send any                                                               
questions  to her  aide, Natasha  McClanahan, and  they would  be                                                               
forwarded  to Senator  Giessel. She  asked  Ms. Nore  if she  had                                                               
anything to add.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. NORE  advised that  the committee  substitute was  drafted in                                                               
response  to the  public  testimony and  the  concerns that  were                                                               
voiced.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:26:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO removed  her objection and version  L was adopted.                                                               
[SB 112 was held in committee with public testimony closed.]                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:26:49 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Costello  adjourned the Senate Labor  and Commerce Standing                                                               
Committee meeting at 2:26 p.m.                                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 205 Ver. D.pdf SL&C 3/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 205
SB 205 Sectional Analysis CS (LC) 3.8.18.pdf SL&C 3/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 205
SB 205 ATA Letter to RCA.pdf SL&C 3/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 205
CS SB 205 (L&C) Explanation of Changes Ver. A to D.pdf SL&C 3/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 205
SB 62 Ver. D.pdf SL&C 3/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 62
CS SB62 Explanation of Changes Ver. A to D.pdf SL&C 3/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 62
SB 62 - DHSS Response to S LC.pdf SL&C 3/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 62
SB 112 CS Draft version L.PDF SL&C 3/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 112
CS SB112 (L&C ) Explanation of Changes Ver. R to L.pdf SL&C 3/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 112
SB 112 Sectional version L.PDF SL&C 3/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 112
SB 112 Quick Ref version L.PDF SL&C 3/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 112
SB 112 Quick Ref version R revisions to L.PDF SL&C 3/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 112
Support SB 112 - Samson Tug and Barge 03.07.18.pdf SL&C 3/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 112
03.19.2018 AFL-CIO Letter of opposition SSSB 112.pdf SL&C 3/8/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 112