Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/17/2018 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 346 DENTIST: TEMPORARY PERMIT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 346(L&C) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 160 BROADBAND INTERNET: NEUTRALITY/REGULATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 160 Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          SENATE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                        
                         April 17, 2018                                                                                         
                           1:32 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Mia Costello, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Kevin Meyer, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Berta Gardner                                                                                                           
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 346(L&C)                                                                                
"An Act relating to the licensure of dentists."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 346(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 160                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to  the regulation  of broadband  Internet; and                                                               
making certain  actions by  broadband Internet  service providers                                                               
unlawful  acts  or  practices  under   the  Alaska  Unfair  Trade                                                               
Practices and Consumer Protection Act."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 160 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 346                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DENTIST: TEMPORARY PERMIT                                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): LABOR & COMMERCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/14/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/14/18       (H)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
02/19/18       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/19/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/19/18       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/23/18       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/23/18       (H)       Moved CSHB 346(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/23/18       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/26/18       (H)       L&C RPT CS(L&C) 7DP                                                                                    
02/26/18       (H)       DP: SULLIVAN-LEONARD, STUTES, WOOL,                                                                    
                         JOSEPHSON, BIRCH, KNOPP, KITO                                                                          
03/16/18       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM ADAMS ROOM 519                                                                          
03/16/18       (H)       Moved CSHB 346(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/16/18       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/19/18       (H)       FIN RPT CS(L&C) 10DP                                                                                   
03/19/18       (H)       DP: GARA, WILSON, KAWASAKI, ORTIZ,                                                                     
                         PRUITT,   GUTTENBERG,   GRENN,   TILTON,                                                               
                         SEATON,                                                                                                
03/19/18       (H)       FOSTER                                                                                                 
04/11/18       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/11/18       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 346(L&C)                                                                                 
04/12/18       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/12/18       (S)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
04/17/18       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 160                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: BROADBAND INTERNET: NEUTRALITY/REGULATION                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): BEGICH                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
01/24/18       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/24/18       (S)       L&C, STA                                                                                               
02/13/18       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/13/18       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/13/18       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/17/18       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAM KITO III                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 346.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SARAH CHAMBERS, Deputy Director                                                                                                 
Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing                                                                   
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to HB 346.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR. PAUL SILVEIRA, Member                                                                                                       
Board of Dental Examiners                                                                                                       
Valdez, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 346 on behalf of                                                               
the board.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR. DAVID LOGAN, Executive Director                                                                                             
Alaska Dental Society                                                                                                           
Juneau Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION  STATEMENT: Testified  in strong  support of  HB 346  on                                                             
behalf of the Alaska Dental Society.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR TOM BEGICH                                                                                                              
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 160.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SYDNEY LIENEMANN, Staff                                                                                                         
Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                              
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Answered questions  related  to  SB 160  on                                                             
behalf of the sponsor.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  ROBINSON,  Head  of Systems,  UAA;  Chair  of  Intellectual                                                               
Freedom, Alaska Library Association                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 160.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JENNIE STEWART, Founder                                                                                                         
Custom Everything, Inc.                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 160.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:32:55 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 Meyer, Gardner, and  Chair Costello. Senator                                                               
Stevens arrived soon thereafter.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                HB 346-DENTIST: TEMPORARY PERMIT                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:33:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  announced the consideration  of HB 346  and noted                                                               
that  the  committee previously  heard  the  companion bill.  She                                                               
stated  her  intention  to  move the  bill  after  taking  public                                                               
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:33:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SAM  KITO III,  Alaska State  Legislature, Juneau,                                                               
Alaska,   sponsor   of   HB  346   introduced   the   legislation                                                               
paraphrasing the following sponsor statement:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     House Bill 346  would allow the Alaska  Board of Dental                                                                    
     Examiners  to grant  temporary licenses  when a  dental                                                                    
     specialist is  suddenly incapacitated  or when  a small                                                                    
     community does not have access to specialized care.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska  has a  limited  number  of dental  specialists,                                                                    
     many of  whom serve  multiple small  communities. There                                                                    
     are nine dental specialties  as defined by the American                                                                    
     Dental   Association:   oral   surgery,   orthodontics,                                                                    
     periodontics   (gums),   endodontics   (root   canals),                                                                    
     pedodontics  (kids), prosthodontics  (replacing teeth),                                                                    
     public health,  , oral  pathology (oral  diseases), and                                                                    
     oral radiology (x-rays); however,  Alaska does not have                                                                    
     a  single  specialist in  oral  radiology.  Of the  647                                                                    
     licensed   dentists  in   Alaska,   136  dentists   are                                                                    
     specialists.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Dental specialists in Alaska  are limited in number and                                                                    
     have  full  schedules.  If  a  specialist  is  suddenly                                                                    
     incapacitated, there  is no reserve  to draw  from, and                                                                    
     multiple small communities  could be without specialist                                                                    
     care for an extended  period of time. Small communities                                                                    
     have   historically   had   a  hard   time   recruiting                                                                    
     healthcare  practioners  and  the  trend  seems  to  be                                                                    
     worsening.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Temporary dental licenses would  allow the Alaska Board                                                                    
     of Dental  Examiners to maintain  dental care  in these                                                                    
     communities  until a  full-time dentist  can be  found.                                                                    
     The board is ideally qualified  to evaluate the need to                                                                    
     circumvent   transitional   licensing  procedures   for                                                                    
     dentists in exceptional circumstances.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     HB 346 will  allow temporary licenses to  be granted in                                                                    
     times of need at the  discretion of the Alaska Board of                                                                    
     Dental Examiners.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KITO III advised that  the bill was changed in the                                                               
other body  to give the board  the authority to bring  a licensed                                                               
dentist  from another  jurisdiction to  Alaska to  fill in  for a                                                               
short period of time. One  extension is allowed but the temporary                                                               
dentist would  need to get an  Alaska license if they  spend more                                                               
time working in Alaska.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:36:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER  asked if he  anticipates that a lot  of dentists                                                               
will be interested in taking advantage of this opportunity.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KITO   III   deferred  the   question   to   the                                                               
representative from the dental society.  He shared his experience                                                               
when  the  Southeast Alaska  Regional  Health  Center was  having                                                               
difficulty recruiting  a dentist  to come  to Juneau,  and opined                                                               
that this provision  might have allowed SEARHC  to bring somebody                                                               
in temporarily to fill the gap.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARDNER asked if he  envisions the pool of dentists would                                                               
be those who are already licensed  - but perhaps not practicing -                                                               
and interested in coming to Alaska for a limited period.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KITO replied the target  pool was dentists who are                                                               
not licensed in Alaska.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARDNER  directed attention to  the provision on  page 2,                                                               
lines 3-5.  It says the temporary  permit is valid only  to treat                                                               
patients of  the incapacitated dentist  at the address  listed on                                                               
the business  license of the  incapacitated dentist.  Noting that                                                               
the companion bill  had the same problematic  language, she asked                                                               
what would  happen if the  incapacitated dentist did  business in                                                               
more than one location.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KITO   III  said  he  suspects   the  bill  would                                                               
accommodate  the  emergency  replacement  of a  dentist  who  had                                                               
offices  in  more than  one  location.  However, if  each  office                                                               
offered  different specialty  services,  the replacement  dentist                                                               
may not  have both  specialties. He  deferred further  comment to                                                               
the board.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO said  she assumes  each location  has a  business                                                               
license,  and  her reading  is  that  the bill  does  contemplate                                                               
multiple locations.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARDNER  observed that the  license is for  the facility,                                                               
not the individual.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO  added that the  bill is written to  accommodate a                                                               
dentist who has multiple licenses.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MEYER  asked  if other  states  grant  temporary  dental                                                               
licenses.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KITO III said he didn't know.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO asked  Sarah Chambers to respond  to any questions                                                               
she'd heard.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:41:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SARAH  CHAMBERS,  Deputy   Director,  Division  of  Corporations,                                                               
Business  and  Professional  Licensing, Department  of  Commerce,                                                               
Community  and  Economic  Development  (DCCED),  Juneau,  Alaska,                                                               
confirmed that  businesses must maintain  a business  license for                                                               
each location. Thus, someone with  a temporary permit could cover                                                               
the dental office of the incapacitated dentist.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO asked if the  administration had a position on the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHAMBERS replied the administration  has not taken a position                                                               
on the bill but the dental board supports it.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER asked what it costs for a temporary permit.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS explained  that a  typical temporary  permit for  a                                                               
health care profession  ranges from $50 to $100. It  would not be                                                               
cost prohibitive.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MEYER noted  that  the fiscal  note  reflects $2,600  in                                                               
receipt services.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS explained  that those  services would  generally be                                                               
covered by the licensing fees.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO  asked  if  the board  could  call  an  emergency                                                               
meeting to approve an emergency license.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHAMBERS replied  the Administrative  Procedures Act  allows                                                               
all boards to call a teleconference meeting within five days.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:44:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO opened public testimony on HB 346.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:44:57 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  PAUL SILVEIRA,  Board of  Dental Examiners,  Valdez, Alaska,                                                               
stated that  the board  supports HB 346  to expedite  a temporary                                                               
permit to help an incapacitated dentist.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:45:23 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  DAVID  LOGAN,  Executive Director,  Alaska  Dental  Society,                                                               
Juneau  Alaska,  stated that  the  Alaska  Dental Society  is  in                                                               
strong  support of  HB 346.  He cited  examples of  the need  for                                                               
temporary  permits to  fill in  for dental  specialists who  were                                                               
unexpectedly incapacitated.  One had a  stroke and another  had a                                                               
major traffic accident. This isn't  a common occurrence, he said,                                                               
but  a temporary  permit is  a necessary  tool for  the board  to                                                               
maintain continuous  dental health  care in Alaska.  Unlike other                                                               
states,  Alaskans  can't easily  move  to  another community  for                                                               
treatment.  It  is more  effective  to  bring  one dentist  to  a                                                               
community than flying members of  a community to another location                                                               
for treatment. He  reiterated that this would be  a valuable tool                                                               
for the board.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:47:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER asked how this would work.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR.  LOGAN  said  the  expectation   is  that  the  incapacitated                                                               
specialist or  their designee would put  somebody's name forward.                                                               
He  posited   that  they  would  pull   from  former  classmates,                                                               
colleagues, and friends in the field.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER asked  if someone would need to  obtain a temporary                                                               
permit before they could be considered as a replacement.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR LOGAN said  the expectation is the name would  be submitted to                                                               
the board for  temporary license approval. If  the board approved                                                               
the   name,  the   individual  would   take  over   the  practice                                                               
temporarily.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER asked if it would be a fairly quick process.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR LOGAN  said it  could be  fairly quick. The  board is  able to                                                               
meet  on  an  emergency  basis  and  it  can  also  circulate  an                                                               
application  amongst the  members for  approval. This  might take                                                               
just a week, which isn't an unrealistic gap.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:49:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO closed public testimony on HB 346.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:50:07 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER moved to report the  CS for HB 346, version D, from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
note(s).                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO  found no objection  and CSHB 346(L&C)  moved from                                                               
the Senate Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:50:29 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
        SB 160-BROADBAND INTERNET: NEUTRALITY/REGULATION                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:52:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO   reconvened  the   meeting  and   announced  the                                                               
consideration  of SB  160. She  noted  that this  was the  second                                                               
hearing and  public testimony was  closed. She asked  the sponsor                                                               
to comment.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:53:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  TOM BEGICH,  Alaska State  Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska,                                                               
sponsor of  SB 160,  reminded members that  SB 160  would require                                                               
internet service providers to abide  by net neutrality principles                                                               
in  Alaska.  That  means  no blocking  lawful  content,  no  paid                                                               
prioritization  or  throttling   unless  the  reasonable  network                                                               
management practices make an exception  for distance learning and                                                               
telemedicine.  It would  ensure continued  access to  a fair  and                                                               
open internet that treats all data equally and fairly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
He noted the  following slight changes since  the committee heard                                                               
the bill last:                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
   • Six governors have now signed executive orders requiring                                                                   
     internet service providers (ISPs) with government contracts                                                                
     to abide by net neutrality.                                                                                                
   • 28 states have introduced net neutrality legislation                                                                       
   • 22 state attorneys general have filed lawsuits against the                                                                 
     FCC. Alaska is not yet one of those states but the governor                                                                
     and Senator Murkowski have both written op-ed pieces about                                                                 
     net neutrality.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH warned  that the deadline for  Congress to reverse                                                               
the FCC Title II net neutrality order  was just a week away so it                                                               
was even more imperative to  pass this legislation. He emphasized                                                               
that state legislatures  must set the template  for what Congress                                                               
does  on this  matter. He  noted who  his office  had invited  to                                                               
testify.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:56:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER asked if there was an ongoing federal lawsuit.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BEGICH  replied  Alaska  is not  engaged  in  a  federal                                                               
lawsuit,  but  22 state  attorneys  general  have filed  lawsuits                                                               
against the FCC  on this particular action. Many  of those states                                                               
have also introduced  legislation similar to SB 160  in an effort                                                               
to set a common template for a proper net neutrality statute.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER  asked if resolution  of the federal  lawsuit would                                                               
trump any state action.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH said it's difficult  to say, but lawsuits can take                                                               
years if not decades to  resolve. This and similar legislation is                                                               
intended  to motivate  Congress to  act and  resolve this  matter                                                               
quickly.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:57:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS joined the committee.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER  said his concern was  that if the laws  aren't the                                                               
same in all areas, providers will abandon some areas altogether.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BEGICH explained  that this  was model  legislation that                                                               
represents  the  voice of  the  states  to ensure  that  internet                                                               
companies cannot  apply principles  that block  Alaskan citizens'                                                               
access  to  the  internet  whether they  are  the  wealthiest  or                                                               
poorest.  He  noted  an earlier  Senate  floor  debate  regarding                                                               
broadband   access   where   several  Senators   emphasized   the                                                               
importance of  equal access  to all citizens.  He opined  that SB                                                               
160 would be a step towards encouraging equal access.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER  asked how  many other  states have  passed similar                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH deferred the question to his staff.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:01:31 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  SYDNEY LIENEMANN,  Staff, Senator  Tom Begich,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, advised  that Washington  State has                                                               
passed  similar legislation  and governors  in five  other states                                                               
have  signed  executive  orders.  Those states  are  Hawaii,  New                                                               
Jersey, New York, Montana, and Vermont.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:02:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  asked the sponsor  to comment on  her observation                                                               
that the phrase  "in a manner sufficient for" on  page 1, line 9,                                                               
is a  statement of  philosophy, whereas the  bill has  more teeth                                                               
starting on page 2, line 17.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH  disagreed with the  portrayal of the  language as                                                               
philosophical because  the subsequent  language is  very specific                                                               
and replicates  the existing FCC  rules regarding  net neutrality                                                               
that were repealed in December.  He added that if the legislation                                                               
does make a philosophical statement,  it is that Alaska and other                                                               
states have identified  a way of protecting  their citizens' free                                                               
and open access to the  internet. It's something that the federal                                                               
government can  use as a  guide. He related his  early encounters                                                               
with the  internet which  supports the importance  of a  free and                                                               
open internet.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO asked  if the  bill would  be unnecessary  if the                                                               
federal government took action.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH confirmed  that if the federal  government were to                                                               
pass legislation  that replicated  this model language,  the bill                                                               
would  be unnecessary.  But until  the  federal government  takes                                                               
that action, passing  SB 160 will make it possible  for the state                                                               
to defend its citizens' right to a free and open internet.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:06:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO noted  the 2/12/2018  letter  of opposition  from                                                               
AT&T in the packet.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:07:26 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:07:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO reconvened the meeting.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:08:18 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE  ROBINSON,  Head  of Systems,  UAA;  Chair  of  Intellectual                                                               
Freedom   Committee,  Alaska   Library  Association,   Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska, said  he works  in technology  at the  university library                                                               
and  several  years  ago  he was  a  representative  on  Governor                                                               
Parnell's Broadband Task  Force so he is  familiar with broadband                                                               
issues  in  Alaska.  He stated  that  libraries  support  network                                                               
neutrality  for two  reasons: equitable  access and  intellectual                                                               
freedom. He pointed out that  libraries are often the gateway for                                                               
internet access  in communities  and in some  cases they  are the                                                               
only gateway. In  that role they serve as an  aggregated end user                                                               
for people  trying to get on  the internet. Libraries are  also a                                                               
portal for access to online  information such as e-books, journal                                                               
content,  and other  things. In  that sense,  they are  a content                                                               
provider  or  small business.  He  emphasized  the importance  of                                                               
ensuring  that library  users get  to the  information they  need                                                               
without hinderance  and ensuring  that libraries  do not  have to                                                               
compete   with  large   content  companies   whose  use   may  be                                                               
prioritized by some internet companies.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROBINSON  noted  that  when  Commissioner  Pai  revoked  net                                                               
neutrality for the  FCC, he argued that  market competition would                                                               
solve the  problems of  any broadband  providers that  attempt to                                                               
violate  net neutrality.  However,  that is  not  a solution  for                                                               
Alaska because many Alaskan communities  don't have any broadband                                                               
competition.  Libraries also  support network  neutrality because                                                               
broadband companies  should not be  in a position to  decide what                                                               
content to promote or provide  access to. That decision should be                                                               
left to  individual users. In  this democracy it's  critical that                                                               
broadband   companies  remain   neutral   gateways  rather   than                                                               
gatekeepers, he said.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBINSON  concluded his comments noting  that AT&T's comments                                                               
on  the  bill   basically  said  they  had   never  violated  net                                                               
neutrality  and  should be  trusted  to  continue that  practice.                                                               
Acknowledging  that it  was a  separate issue,  he said  Facebook                                                               
would probably have made the  same argument several years ago. He                                                               
urged the committee to support SB 160.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:11:37 PM                                                                                                                    
JENNIE  STEWART,  Founder,  Custom  Everything,  Inc.  Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska, stated  that she started  her web-based business  in 2002                                                               
and net neutrality allowed her  business to compete on a national                                                               
and international  scale. Her current competitors  are businesses                                                               
like  Amazon and  Walgreens and  without net  neutrality a  large                                                               
business could pay to promote  their content and thereby throttle                                                               
access to her website. This would  result in a vast change to her                                                               
business. "If  we had just  a minor  decrease in speed,  it would                                                               
bump us  down in terms  of the  search engine results."  She said                                                               
it's likely  her business would  no longer  be on the  first page                                                               
and she  would be out  of business in  a very short  time. Alaska                                                               
can  compete  on  a national  scale  because  network  neutrality                                                               
ensures a  level playing field.  Under the "pay to  play" scheme,                                                               
that will change.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO noted that public  testimony was closed and looked                                                               
to the will of the committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:14:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER  said she was  eager to see this  important piece                                                               
of legislation move along.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:14:30 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER moved to report SB 160, version A, from committee                                                                 
with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s).                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:14:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO found no objection and SB 160 moved from the                                                                     
Senate Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:15:17 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Costello adjourned the Senate Labor and Commerce Standing                                                                 
Committee meeting at 2:15 p.m.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                

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