Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/02/2002 03:40 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                    
                 SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE                                                                               
                          April 2, 2002                                                                                         
                            3:40 p.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Gene Therriault, Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Randy Phillips, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Ben Stevens                                                                                                             
Senator Bettye Davis                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Rick Halford                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 30                                                                                                   
Relating to an amendment to the Constitution  of the United States                                                              
prohibiting desecration of the Flag of the United States.                                                                       
     MOVED HJR 30 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 20(MLV)                                                                                  
Relating  to   declaring  September   11,  2002,   as  a   Day  of                                                              
Remembrance.                                                                                                                    
     MOVED SCS CSHCR 20(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 162                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to absences from  the state under  the longevity                                                              
bonus program."                                                                                                                 
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 262                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to accounting for  and appropriations of receipts                                                              
from  fees collected  by  the Department  of  Labor and  Workforce                                                              
Development for  certain inspections and for certain  plumbing and                                                              
electrical   worker  certificates   of  fitness;  establishing   a                                                              
building safety account; and providing for an effective date."                                                                  
     MOVED HB 262 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 331                                                                                                              
"An  Act relating  to  appointment of  persons  to positions  that                                                              
require  confirmation by  the legislature;  and  providing for  an                                                              
effective date."                                                                                                                
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HJR 30 - See State Affairs minutes dated 3/26/02                                                                                
HCR 20 - See State Affairs dated 3/19/02 and 3/26/02                                                                            
HB 162 - See HESS minutes dated 4/20/01 and 1/28/02 and                                                                         
         State Affairs minutes dated 3/26/02                                                                                    
HB 262 - See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 3/21/02                                                                           
HB 331 - See State Affairs minutes dated 3/21/02                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Gary Berry                                                                                                                      
9070 North Douglas Highway                                                                                                      
Juneau, AK 99801                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HJR 30                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Gene Dau                                                                                                                        
P.O. Box 20995                                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK 99802                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HJR 30                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Jim Routsala                                                                                                                    
Commander of VFW Post 559                                                                                                       
Juneau, AK 99801                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HJR 30                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Doug Letch                                                                                                                      
Alaska State Capitol, Room 428                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced HCR 20                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gretchen Guess                                                                                                   
Alaska State Capitol, Room 112                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced HB 162                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Alison Elgee                                                                                                                    
Deputy Commissioner                                                                                                             
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
PO Box 110200                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0200                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 162                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Rosalee T. Walker                                                                                                               
1220 Glacier Ave.                                                                                                               
Juneau, AK 99801                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 162                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Amy Erickson                                                                                                                    
Aide to Representative Lisa Murkowski                                                                                           
Alaska State Capitol, Room 408                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced HB 262                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Remond Henderson                                                                                                                
Director                                                                                                                        
Department of Labor & Workforce                                                                                                 
  Development                                                                                                                   
PO Box 21149                                                                                                                    
Juneau, AK 99802-1149                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 262                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Rebecca Nance Gamez                                                                                                             
Deputy Commissioner                                                                                                             
Department of Labor & Workforce                                                                                                 
  Development                                                                                                                   
PO Box 21149                                                                                                                    
Juneau, AK 99802-1149                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 262                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Linda Sylvester                                                                                                                 
Aide to Representative Kott                                                                                                     
Alaska State Capitol, Room 204                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 02-17, SIDE A                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  GENE   THERRIAULT  called   the  Senate  State   Affairs                                                            
Committee  meeting to  order at  3:40 p.m.  Present were  Senators                                                              
Davis, Stevens, Phillips and Chairman Therriault.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                 HJR 30-DESECRATION OF U.S. FLAG                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  announced the  prime sponsor,  Representative                                                              
Pete Kott,  was not  available and  he asked  Senator Phillips  to                                                              
introduce the resolution.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS explained  this was a resolution requesting                                                              
the United  States Congress to pass  House Joint Resolution  36 or                                                              
Senate  Joint Resolution  7,  which  would prohibit  the  physical                                                              
desecration of the United States flag.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
GARY BARRY  testified he  is a past  department commander  for the                                                              
American Legion  and they  have spent the  last five or  six years                                                              
trying to  get this measure passed  through the U.S.  Congress. He                                                              
expressed  strong support  for  the resolution.  The  flag of  the                                                              
United States of America should be treated with respect.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
GENE DAU, Legislative Officer for  Veteran's of Foreign Wars (VFW)                                                              
Post 5559, testified  in support of the resolution.  He was taught                                                              
to  respect and  protect  the U.S.  flag and  sees  no reason  for                                                              
people to treat it any differently today.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JIM ROUTSALA  testified  in support  of HJR 30;  his feelings  are                                                              
similar to  Mr. Dau's. He is the  Commander of VFW Taku  Post 5559                                                              
and is representing  the 204 members who also support  HJR 30. The                                                              
U.S. flag is a symbol of America and should not be desecrated.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
There was no further testimony.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
There was  no proposed CS  and no amendments.  There was  one zero                                                              
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS made a motion to  move HJR 30 and attached fiscal                                                              
note from committee with individual recommendations.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, HJR 30 moved from committee.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                HCR 20-SEPT 11 DAY OF REMEMBRANCE                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DOUG LETCH,  Aide to  Representative Gary  Stevens, testified  the                                                              
resolution  was introduced  to the  committee  several weeks  ago.                                                              
Since then they worked with committee  aide, Joe Balash, and agree                                                              
that the suggested changes are acceptable.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT   stated  there  is  no   prepared  committee                                                              
substitute (CS) but they do have the suggested language changes.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. LETCH  stated Representative  Stevens  thought the ideas  were                                                              
good.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT asked  for  a motion  to  adopt the  proposed                                                              
language so it could be incorporated into a CS.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS made a motion to  adopt the following language as                                                              
amendment 1:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
       Delete all material from page 1, line 15 to page 2,                                                                      
     line 5                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Insert the following in its place                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     WHEREAS,  on September  11, 2001, at  9:43 a.m.  Eastern                                                                 
     the west  side of the  Pentagon building in  Washington,                                                                   
     D.C.,  causing the  loss  of all  64  lives aboard;  and                                                                   
     Daylight  Time,  hijacked American  Airlines  Flight  77                                                                   
     crashed into                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     WHEREAS,  125 service members,  employees, and  contract                                                                 
     workers at  the Pentagon building also lost  their lives                                                                   
     as a  result of  the crash of  American Airlines  Flight                                                                   
     77; and                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     WHEREAS,   the  passengers   and  crew  onboard   United                                                                 
     Airlines Flight 93, aware of  the earlier attacks on the                                                                   
     World  Trade  Center towers,  refused  to stand  by  and                                                                   
     allow the Boeing 757 to be used  in the same manner; and                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     WHEREAS,  passengers and  crew  onboard United  Airlines                                                                 
     Flight 93 put  a plan into action to stop  the hijacking                                                                   
     signaled by  the now famous  words, Are you  guys ready:                                                                   
     Let's roll"; and                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     WHEREAS, on  September 11, 2001,  at 10:00 a.m.  Eastern                                                                 
     Daylight  Time,  all  45 lives  aboard  United  Airlines                                                                   
     Flight  93   were  lost  when   the  plane   crashed  in                                                                   
     southwestern Pennsylvania; and                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, the language was incorporated into a                                                                  
State Affairs CS.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
There was one zero fiscal note.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS noted November 11 was originally called                                                                        
Remembrance Day. That was changed to Armistice Day and it is now                                                                
celebrated as Veteran's Day.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT asked for the will of the committee.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DAVIS made a motion to move amended HCR 20 and attached                                                                 
fiscal note from committee with individual recommendations.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, SCS CSHCR 20(STA) moved from committee.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          HB 162-ABSENCES UNDER LONGEVITY BONUS PROGRAM                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  announced it  was his  intent to discuss  the                                                              
bill, but not to move the bill from committee that day.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRETCHEN  GUESS introduced  HB  162  on behalf  of                                                              
Representative   Fred  Dyson.   She  had   been  working   on  the                                                              
legislation with him.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The bill does two things to the Longevity Bonus Program.                                                                        
   1. It extends the paid leave absences from 30 to 60 days.  The                                                               
     reason for  that change is there  are people who  receive the                                                              
     bonus and  cannot visit their  families out of  state because                                                              
     economics  require that  they  drive and  there isn't  enough                                                              
     time to leave, visit and return in just 30 days.                                                                           
   2. It would change the unpaid leave time from 90 days to five                                                                
     years. Individuals who leave the state would not receive the                                                               
     bonus while they were gone, but they would be eligible to                                                                  
     receive it again if they returned within five years.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
The  Department of  Administration  suggested the  five year  time                                                              
period to  help them  clear their  books. House members  discussed                                                              
changing  the unpaid  five-year sabbatical  but  they didn't  act.                                                              
They  understand Senator  Halford  is interested  in reducing  the                                                              
five years  and they are  receptive to  a change. A  change should                                                              
not impact  the fiscal note. The  fiscal note is  negative because                                                              
people are currently flying back  to Alaska to remain eligible for                                                              
a  month and  then flying  back out.  Extending  the unpaid  leave                                                              
saves   the   state  money   and   provides   seniors   additional                                                              
flexibility.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT  asked  her   to  explain  the  current  bill                                                              
language on page 2, lines 18 through 23.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUESS explained it  defines an unqualified  person                                                              
as someone who would be eligible  for the longevity bonus but they                                                              
were not qualified because they were incarcerated.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT restated  that those  individuals would  meet                                                              
all the criteria  but, because they are incarcerated,  they do not                                                              
get the bonus. He asked whether they  would receive the bonus once                                                              
they are paroled.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUESS  deferred the  question to the  Department of                                                              
Administration.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ALYSON  ELGEE,   Deputy  Commissioner   with  the  Department   of                                                              
Administration,  stated  they  made  several  assumptions  in  the                                                              
preparation of the  fiscal note. They have data  that enabled them                                                              
to develop  a cost estimate for  extending the paid leave  from 30                                                              
to 60 days. They  looked at a year's records and  figured the cost                                                              
to  pay those  people who  had been  absent  for over  30 days  an                                                              
additional one-month check.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
When they looked at the provisions  for allowing extended absences                                                              
they had to make  some guesses about what people's  behavior might                                                              
be.  To estimate  the  cost savings,  and  they  believe one  will                                                              
occur,  they  assumed  that  an  average  of  10  percent  of  the                                                              
longevity bonus recipients  would be absent one  month longer than                                                              
they currently are today thereby  forgoing one month's check. This                                                              
would result  in an estimated savings  to the state of  $435,000 a                                                              
year and the estimate may well be conservative.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The program was closed in 1997 and  all recipients are 70 years or                                                              
older. Loosening some of the provisions  would allow those seniors                                                              
much appreciated flexibility so they  can spend more time visiting                                                              
with  family and  friends outside  the state.  There are  numerous                                                              
anecdotal stories about seniors who  gave up their bonus when they                                                              
moved from  the state only  to find that  they didn't  like living                                                              
out of  Alaska. However,  by the time  they returned to  the state                                                              
they were no  longer eligible for the longevity  bonus even though                                                              
they  may have  spent a  majority of  their life  in Alaska.  This                                                              
would  help  such  cases. As  Representative  Guess  stated,  they                                                              
selected the five-year limitation  so they could purge their rolls                                                              
and have an idea of their potential clientele for the program.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS asked how many individuals  currently receive the                                                              
longevity bonus.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. ELGEE replied that, on average,  they issue between 18,000 and                                                              
19,000 longevity  bonus checks  per month.  There are always  more                                                              
people who are eligible, but they are absent for some reason.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS then asked about  the breakdown for the different                                                              
payment amounts.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ELGEE replied  the information  is available,  but she  would                                                              
have to provide it later.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS asked her to provide  the average state residency                                                              
for the bonus recipients.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. ELGEE said that information is not readily available.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS said his reason  for asking the questions is that                                                              
he remembers that 10 to 20 percent  of the recipients had lived in                                                              
the state two years or less.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. ELGEE  said she  would check  on information  that relates  to                                                              
length of residency.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN   THERRIAULT  announced   he  was   interested  in   that                                                              
information as well. It is frustrating  to him that there are some                                                              
who got  into the program  with minimum  residency while  some who                                                              
lived here for  50 years, but weren't quite old  enough to qualify                                                              
before the  program was  closed get  nothing. If this  legislation                                                              
passed, those that qualified with  minimum residency would be able                                                              
to leave  the state  for up to  five years  then return  and start                                                              
receiving  the bonus  again. In a  lot of  people's opinion,  they                                                              
shouldn't have gotten the benefit in the first place.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. ELGEE pointed out that when seniors  are out of state for more                                                              
than 30 days, for any reason, they are not paid.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  said Senator  Halford has some  concerns over                                                              
the necessity  of section  2, which  is the  five-year cutoff.  He                                                              
asked  for an  explanation of  how  that section  helps clear  the                                                              
roll.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. ELGEE  replied they wanted some  time frame within  which they                                                              
could clean  up the longevity bonus  rolls. When people  leave the                                                              
state  they are  suspended from  the  program, but  they may  stay                                                              
suspended  forever. If  they never  hear from  people again,  they                                                              
have no way  of knowing whether they  are deceased or if  they are                                                              
gone from the state forever. Currently  they project that the last                                                              
bonus check  will be  paid in  approximately 2030.  At that  time,                                                              
they don't  want to have  10,000 people on  the roll even  if they                                                              
are only paying two of them. They  were hoping to be able to purge                                                              
the rolls along the way, but five years was subjective.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT asked what the  shortest workable period would                                                              
be.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. ELGEE said one to two years is  reasonable. One of the current                                                              
problems is  that medical  absences are allowed,  but there  is no                                                              
provision for an accompanying spouse.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  asked if there wasn't a provision  allowing a                                                              
one-year  absence  from the  program  after which  the  individual                                                              
could re-qualify.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. ELGEE  replied that  was an amendment  that Senator  Tim Kelly                                                              
sponsored several  years ago.  It provides for  a one  year unpaid                                                              
sabbatical once every five years.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  asked whether she  had other examples  of how                                                              
the 30 day limitation is unduly burdensome.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. ELGEE  replied that  the House  HESS Committee developed  that                                                              
provision.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ROSALEE WALKER,  President of the  local AARP and board  member of                                                              
the Older Persons Action Group (OPAG),  testified in support of HB                                                              
162. She asked  that members pay attention to  the negative fiscal                                                              
note. The bill  requires a simple modification, but  it would mean                                                              
a lot to the  recipients. The program was started  as a reward for                                                              
a specific group,  but there was a lawsuit and  that's when people                                                              
started moving  to Alaska to receive  the bonus. Because  of this,                                                              
legislators  decided   to  phase   the  program  out   over  time.                                                              
Nonetheless, the bonus  is a very important part  of many seniors'                                                              
income.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT   said  the   court  case  did   explode  the                                                              
participating pool  for the bonus  program so the  Legislature had                                                              
to take  action. At  the time that  they were considering  change,                                                              
some of  his constituency that  were long time  Alaskans expressed                                                              
an interest in doing away with the  program altogether rather than                                                              
grandfathering in  people who had been  in Alaska for just  two or                                                              
three  years. The  proposed  changes  would give  those  newcomers                                                              
increased  flexibility for  travel and  that won't  sit well  with                                                              
some long  term Alaskan  seniors. That needs  to be factored  into                                                              
the decision to make changes.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DAVIS  asked Ms.  Walker about her  thoughts on  the five-                                                              
year term.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. WALKER  said she hadn't  really considered that  point because                                                              
if she leaves for  two years she won't come back.  Alaska has been                                                              
her home  for 35  years, but  if she  were gone  for two years  it                                                              
would be for an extreme reason. Five  years is certainly more than                                                              
fair and she could personally accept less.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT said  it's  important to  keep  in mind  that                                                              
there is  currently a one-year  non-paid sabbatical  allowed every                                                              
five  years.  The proposed  section  2  would allow  a  continuous                                                              
absence above and beyond what is allowed by the sabbatical.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He asked Representative  Guess to comment on when  they decided to                                                              
extend paid  absences from 30 to  60 days and whether it  was part                                                              
of the original idea.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUESS  replied the 30  to 60 day change  came first                                                              
and  was  the  result  of  a  constituent  request.  Her  research                                                              
indicated that  the 30  day limit was  a subjective decision.  The                                                              
difficulty is  the free rider  problem, the people  that qualified                                                              
with  just two  or three  years of  residency.  Everyone wants  to                                                              
provide flexibility  to the  seniors that lived  in Alaska  in the                                                              
1940s, 1950s and  1960s, but along with those  come the newcomers.                                                              
Because  of the  court decision,  it's  unclear what  can be  done                                                              
about that.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The bill  began with the  30 to 60  day change and  the department                                                              
asked for  the change from  the 90 day  allowed absence to  a five                                                              
year unpaid  sabbatical. This would   provide more  flexibility to                                                              
seniors  who were  flying  into and  then back  out  of Alaska  to                                                              
maintain  their eligibility.  This is  the part  of the bill  that                                                              
provides the overall negative fiscal  note. It's a way to save the                                                              
state  money and  provide  seniors more  flexibility  at the  same                                                              
time.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  asked whether the original bill  had just the                                                              
30 to 60 day change so there was a cost of implementation.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUESS  replied that in working with  the department                                                              
on the 30 to 60 day change they suggested  the 90 day to five year                                                              
change. When  they put those together,  the result was  a negative                                                              
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  closed testimony on HB 162 and  held the bill                                                              
in committee.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                 HB 262-BUILDING SAFETY ACCOUNT                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
AMY  ERICKSON,   staff  to  Representative  Murkowski,   read  the                                                              
following into the record:                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     House   Bill   262   is   a   fees-for-service   measure                                                                   
     establishing  a building  safety  account  to allow  the                                                                   
     Department  of  Labor to  collect  fees to  support  its                                                                   
     mechanical  inspections program  and, more  importantly,                                                                   
     to  catch  up  on a  serious  and  sizeable  backlog  of                                                                   
     elevator and boiler inspections.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Currently  the mechanical  inspection section  generates                                                                   
     just over  $1 million in  general funds and  is allotted                                                                   
     about $695,000. HB 262 allows  the department to collect                                                                   
     fees  and  gives  the authority  to  utilize  the  money                                                                   
     generated  for those fees.  The fees  range from $40  to                                                                   
     about $105 depending on the type of vessel.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Certificates  of  fitness  for   both  electricians  and                                                                   
     plumbers  also generate  fees. The  sizeable backlog  of                                                                   
     boiler  and elevator  inspections  is  a growing  safety                                                                   
     concern. The boiler backlog  has reached about 6,000 and                                                                   
     for elevators it's about 350.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Instantly  the  Americans  with   Disabilities  Act  has                                                                   
     caused the number of elevators  to roughly double in the                                                                   
     last  eight  years. Passage  of  HB  262 will  give  the                                                                   
     mechanical  inspections program  the ability to  restore                                                                   
     three  new inspectors  to the  program  and to  generate                                                                   
     enough  funds to eliminate  the backlog  of boilers  and                                                                   
     elevators in approximately two years.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT verified that  this wouldn't increase fees and                                                              
would not impose  new fees on classes of work  that currently have                                                              
not had fees. It's simply allocating  the funds that are generated                                                              
from that program.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
AMY ERICKSON agreed  and said Remond Henderson could  speak to the                                                              
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT noted that general  fund dollars could be used                                                              
now  to restore  three new  inspectors  to the  program, but  this                                                              
provides a tracking mechanism.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
AMY ERICKSON agreed.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REMOND  HENDERSON, Director  of  Administrative  Services for  the                                                              
Department of Labor  and Workforce Development, said  he was there                                                              
to  testify on  the fiscal  note and  answer questions  on it.  He                                                              
could answer program questions to a limited degree.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
The fiscal  note requests  that positions  be established  for two                                                              
boiler  inspectors and  one  elevator inspector.  In  FY 03  those                                                              
three inspectors would cost $234,600  for a ten month period while                                                              
their inspections would generate  $242,800. In FY 04 they show the                                                              
additional  cost   for  extra  two  months  of   $41,400  and  the                                                              
additional  two months  of  revenue generated  of  $49,700. FY  07                                                              
shows  a reduction  of  one position  because  they  expect to  be                                                              
caught up with the backlog of inspections by that time.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The  Fund Source  section of  the note  shows a  reduction of  the                                                              
general funds that are currently  in the budget by $345,700, takes                                                              
away the  general program  receipts, and  replaces those  with the                                                              
new Building Safety Account fund that is established.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  noted the building safety account  has a fund                                                              
source code.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. HENDERSON said the 1172 code was just established.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT  asked  if  it  was  already  established  or                                                              
whether it would be established by passage of the bill.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. HENDERSON said it would be established by passage of HB 262.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT asked whether  this wouldn't be a general fund                                                              
building safety account.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. HENDERSON replied  it is showing a reduction  in general funds                                                              
because that is where funds are currently  budgeted and they don't                                                              
currently have authority for a Building Safety Account.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  wanted confirmation that the  Building Safety                                                              
Account would be a general fund account.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. HENDERSON confirmed it would be a general fund account.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT asked  whether it  would show  up as  general                                                              
fund spending and take separate legislative  action to put it into                                                              
the non general fund column.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. HENDERSON explained it wouldn't.  In setting up the account it                                                              
appears as  a non-general  fund account so  it is technically  off                                                              
budget.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  said Mr. Balash  pointed out that  section of                                                              
the bill to him and he understands.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SIDE B                                                                                                                          
4:25 p.m.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT  asked  where   the  request  for  the  three                                                              
additional  positions   figured  into  the   Governor's  submitted                                                              
budget.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HENDERSON  replied  those  positions  are  requested  in  the                                                              
operating  budget   as  general   fund  increments.   They  aren't                                                              
completely comfortable with that  and prefer this method. With the                                                              
passage  of the  bill, this  is the  proper vehicle  to show  that                                                              
those positions would generate the  additional proceeds to pay for                                                              
themselves.  He agreed  that there  are funds  that are  generated                                                              
now, but they don't have the authority to spend those.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS asked Ms. Erickson who requested the bill.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. ERICKSON responded it was the Department of Labor.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS  then asked Mr. Henderson whether  the department                                                              
contacted the Governor to introduce the bill.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HENDERSON  thought Representative  Murkowski  introduced  the                                                              
bill at  the request of the  Governor's Office and  the Department                                                              
of Labor.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS asked whether the Governor could do it himself.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. HENDERSON said he probably could have.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REBECCA NANCE  GAMEZ, the Deputy  Commissioner for  the Department                                                              
of  Labor, said  Commissioner  Flanagan  discussed  this with  the                                                              
Governor,    received   his   approval    and   then    approached                                                              
Representative Murkowski to introduce the legislation.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  commented this  is not  an unusual  course of                                                              
action.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
There was no prepared committee substitute  and no amendments were                                                              
offered.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DAVIS  made a motion  to move  HB 262 and attached  fiscal                                                              
note from committee with individual recommendations.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, HB 262 moved from committee.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
           HB 331-PRESENTMENT OF GOVERNOR'S APPOINTEES                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
LINDA  SYLVESTER, legislative  aide to  Representative Pete  Kott,                                                              
introduced  HB 331  and read  the  preamble to  AS 39.05.070  that                                                              
clarifies how presentments of the Governor are handled:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     The purpose  of this  section of  statute is to  provide                                                                   
     the procedural uniformity in  the exercise of appointive                                                                   
     powers  conferred  by  the   Legislature  to  eliminate,                                                                   
     insofar  as  possible, recess  or  interim  appointments                                                                   
     except in the event of death,  resignation, inability to                                                                   
     act  or other  removal  from  office and  the  exercise,                                                                   
     insofar as possible, of appointive  powers only when the                                                                   
     Legislature is in session.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Following is the sponsor summary:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     HB 331 eliminates ambiguities  in AS 30.05.080 making it                                                                   
     clear that  presentment of the governor's  appointees to                                                                   
     boards  and commissions  may only  occur during  regular                                                                   
     sessions  of the legislature.  This bill eliminates  the                                                                   
     potential  for  confirmation sessions  occurring  during                                                                   
     special  sessions  and it  also  reconciles  potentially                                                                   
     conflicting  language   regarding  the  timing   of  the                                                                   
     appointee's presentation.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     This  issue  arose  at  the  end  of  the  2001  regular                                                                   
     session,  following  the failed  confirmation  bid of  a                                                                   
     Game Board  appointee. In response to that  event, under                                                                   
     paragraph (3),  the governor made a new  appointment and                                                                   
     presented  the name  to the Legislature  within 20  days                                                                   
     following notification  of the failed nomination.  As to                                                                   
     that Game Board vacancy, the  Governor was correct under                                                                   
     paragraph  (3) in  appointing and  presenting the  name,                                                                   
     but  since the regular  session of  the Legislature  had                                                                   
     adjourned,  under paragraph  (1),  that presentment  was                                                                   
     ineffective.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     The waters  become muddy because the  20-day requirement                                                                   
     (that the governor  has to name a candidate  following a                                                                   
     failed  confirmation)  of  paragraph  (3)  is  a  direct                                                                   
     conflict  with paragraph  (1),  which  states that  only                                                                   
     presentment  that   occurs  during  a   regular  session                                                                 
     constitutes  presentment.  To   further  complicate  the                                                                   
     issue, AS 39.050.080 by:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     · Removing the 20-day requirement in paragraph (3) and                                                                     
        keeping the requirement of paragraph (1) stating                                                                        
        that only presentment during a regular session is                                                                       
        valid;                                                                                                                  
     ·  Inserting  as  appropriate  throughout  the  section,                                                                   
        "regular,"                                                                                                            
     ·  Removing "within five calendar days"  from the latter                                                                   
        part  of   paragraph   (1)   because   the   five-day                                                                   
        presentment requirement in  paragraph (1) is  just as                                                                   
        problematical as the  20-day presentment  requirement                                                                   
        since the  fifth  day could  be  outside the  regular                                                                   
        session even if the appointment were  made during the                                                                   
        regular session.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER explained the following changes:                                                                                  
On page 2, line  3, after "expire" insert "on  or before" and                                                                   
on line 6, delete the words "within  five calendar days after                                                                   
the appointment is made," and insert  "immediately." The five                                                                   
day  presentment  requirement  was  problematic  because  the                                                                   
fifth day  could be outside the  regular session even  if the                                                                   
appointment was made during the regular session.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
On page  2, lines 8-9 delete,  "The deadline may  be extended                                                                   
by  the   Legislature  by  the   approval  of  a   concurrent                                                                   
resolution."    and     insert    "immediately."     It    is                                                                   
unconstitutional to modify a statute by concurrent                                                                              
resolution; a statute can only be modified by adoption of                                                                       
another statute.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT asked  whether  Legislative  Legal said  that                                                              
point was unworkable.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER  said they  have something that  says it  is unclear                                                              
whether or  not an appointee can  be confirmed during  the special                                                              
session.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN   THERRIAULT  restated   his   question  concerning   the                                                              
constitutionality  of  extending  the  deadline by  passage  of  a                                                              
concurrent resolution.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER replied that was unconstitutional.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
On  page  2, lines  24-28,  the  following  is deleted:  "The  new                                                              
appointment   shall  be   presented   for   confirmation  to   the                                                              
Legislature  within  20 calendar  days  following  receipt by  the                                                              
governor  of the  legislature's  notification  of  its refusal  to                                                              
confirm the prior appointment."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  recapped using a hypothetical  situation that                                                              
might occur  at the  end of  a regular  legislative session  if an                                                              
appointee  is turned  down and  the  regular session  is over  the                                                              
following day. The Governor would  make a locum tenens appointment                                                              
and the powers  for that position would come under  paragraph (4),                                                              
page 3, lines 5-25. When the Legislature  next convened in regular                                                              
session eight  or nine  months later,  the Governor would  present                                                              
his appointee within  the first 30 days and the  Legislature would                                                              
confirm or deny the appointment.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He  noted the  board  member  would  be participating  and  making                                                              
decisions for almost  a year after which they might  be denied the                                                              
appointment.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SYLVESTER  said  the  Governor's  Office  proposed  inserting                                                              
language  saying  that  the Governor  would  refrain  from  making                                                              
appointments  within  the  last   fourteen  days  of  the  regular                                                              
legislative session. They believe  this is problematic because the                                                              
Legislature wouldn't have the authority  to limit the Governor and                                                              
he could  simply ignore it or  the law would be  unconstitutional.                                                              
The other problem is that if the  Governor does make a presentment                                                              
to the Legislature  during the last few days of  a regular session                                                              
the Legislature  could act if it  weren't limited by  the fourteen                                                              
day  rule. Additionally,  on page  3, lines  3 and  4 the  statute                                                              
stipulates that if the Legislature  does not act by the end of the                                                              
regular session that is tantamount  to declination. The have added                                                              
the word "regular" before the word  "session" here and every place                                                              
"session" occurs to make it very  clear that it takes place during                                                              
the regular session.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT asked  for the  administration's position  on                                                              
the bill in general.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER replied  they liked the fact that it  was a clean-up                                                              
bill,  but  they  wanted  the fourteen  days.  They  weren't  very                                                              
receptive to the word, "immediate."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT  wanted  to  take  time to  think  about  the                                                              
implications  of  the  legislation,  but asked  Ms.  Sylvester  to                                                              
assure Representative Kott that he  didn't have a specific problem                                                              
with the bill.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB 331 was held in committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the committee,  the Senate                                                              
State Affairs Committee meeting was adjourned at 4:45 p.m.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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