Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/17/2003 11:45 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                    
                 SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE                                                                               
                          May, 17,2003                                                                                          
                            11:40 am                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Gary Stevens, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator John Cowdery, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Fred Dyson                                                                                                              
Senator Gretchen Guess                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                              
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 223                                                                                                             
"An Act  naming the state ferry  first operating to  serve between                                                              
Metlakatla and Ketchikan; and providing for an effective date."                                                                 
     MOVED SB 223 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 280(FIN)                                                                                                  
"An Act  relating to the  regulation of commercial  motor vehicles                                                              
to avoid  loss or  withholding of  federal highway  money,  and to                                                              
out-of-service  orders   concerning  commercial   motor  vehicles;                                                              
moving authority for commercial motor  vehicle regulation from the                                                              
Department of  Public Safety to  the Department of  Transportation                                                              
and  Public  Facilities;  amending  Rule  43.1,  Alaska  Rules  of                                                              
Administration; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
     MOVED CSHB 280(FIN) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 14(STA)                                                                                       
Urging that  the 2006 National  Veterans Wheelchair Games  be held                                                              
in Anchorage, Alaska.                                                                                                           
     MOVED CSHJR 14(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 10(HES)                                                                                                   
"An  Act  relating  to  pooling  by  employers  and  self-employed                                                              
individuals for purposes of group  health insurance; and providing                                                              
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
     MOVED CSHB 10(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 13                                                                                             
Encouraging  the  Department  of  Corrections  to  provide  canned                                                              
Alaska pink salmon to inmates of the Alaska prison system.                                                                      
     MOVED SCR 13 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 215(STA) am                                                                                               
"An  Act relating  to art  requirements for  public buildings  and                                                              
facilities; relating  to identification, monitoring,  maintenance,                                                              
and  reporting of  art  in public  buildings  and facilities;  and                                                              
relating to the art in public places fund."                                                                                     
     MOVED CSHB 215(STA) am OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 209(RLS)                                                                                                  
"An  Act  relating  to  municipal  property  tax  adjustments  for                                                              
property affected by a disaster."                                                                                               
     MOVED CSHB 209(RLS) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 20                                                                                                  
Relating to  the establishment of  Reserve Officer  Training Corps                                                              
programs in Alaska by the United States Coast Guard.                                                                            
     MOVED CSSJR 20(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 201                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to home care and  respite care; and providing for                                                              
an effective date."                                                                                                             
     MOVED SB 201 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 24(JUD)                                                                                                   
"An Act relating to intergovernmental  agreements with the federal                                                              
government regarding management of fish or game in the state."                                                                  
     MOVED CSHB 24(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SB 223 - No previous action to record.                                                                                          
HB 280 - See Transportation minutes dated 5/14/03                                                                               
HJR 14 - No previous action to record.                                                                                          
HB 10 - No previous action to record.                                                                                           
SCR 13 - No previous action to record.                                                                                          
HB 215 - No previous action to record.                                                                                          
HB 209 - See CRA minutes dated 5/9/03                                                                                           
SJR 20 - No previous action to record.                                                                                          
SB 201 - No previous action to record.                                                                                          
HB 24 - No previous action to record.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Lieutenant Governor Loren Leman                                                                                                 
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 223                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
John MacKinnon                                                                                                                  
Department of Transportation &                                                                                                  
  Public Facilities                                                                                                             
3132 Channel Dr.                                                                                                                
Juneau, AK  99801-7898                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 280                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mark Gnadt                                                                                                                      
Aide to Representative Eric Croft                                                                                               
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HJR 14                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Helen Bedder                                                                                                                    
Staff to Representative Cheryll Heinze                                                                                          
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 10                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Barbara Bitney                                                                                                                  
Staff to Representative Bill Stoltze                                                                                            
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced HB 215                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault                                                                                                    
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor HB 209                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor SJR 20                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Brian Hove                                                                                                                      
Aide to Senator Ralph Seekins                                                                                                   
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 201                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Jerry Luckhaupt                                                                                                                 
Legislative Legal Services Attorney                                                                                             
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on SB 201                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mary Nicholson                                                                                                                  
P.O. Box 2495                                                                                                                   
Kenai, AK 99611                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 201                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bruce Weyhrauch                                                                                                  
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor HB 24                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Steve White                                                                                                                     
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on HB 24                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 02-03-32, SIDE A                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
CHAIRMAN GARY  STEVENS called the  Senate State Affairs  Committee                                                            
meeting to order at 11:40 am. Present  were Senators John Cowdery,                                                              
Gretchen Guess and Chair Gary Stevens.  Senator Fred Dyson arrived                                                              
shortly thereafter.  The first  order of  business to come  before                                                              
the committee was SB 223.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                 SB 223-NAMING THE FERRY LITUYA                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR  LOREN LEMAN explained that  the Department of                                                              
Transportation  &  Public Facilities  (DOTPF)  had  a contest  for                                                              
school  children in  Metlakatla to  name the new  ferry. A  second                                                              
grader suggested the  name Lituya, which is the name  of a glacier                                                              
and  bay in  Southeast Alaska.  He  urged members  to support  the                                                              
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR JOHN  COWDERY made  a motion to  move SB 223  and attached                                                              
fiscal note from committee with unanimous  consent. There being no                                                              
objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          HB 280-COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES:REGULATIONS                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
JOHN  MACKINNON,  Deputy  Commissioner   of  Highways  and  Public                                                              
Facilities,   stated   that  Executive   Order   98   consolidated                                                              
commercial  motor vehicle  regulations  and  enforcement from  the                                                              
Departments   of  Public   Safety  and   Community  and   Economic                                                              
Development  into  the  Department of  Transportation  and  Public                                                              
Facilities (DOTPF).  This was to provide increased  convenience to                                                              
the  industry   and  the   public  and   provide  better   program                                                              
management. When  implementing the consolidation, the  transfer of                                                              
necessary  regulation authority  was  unintentionally omitted.  HB                                                              
280 clears  up the omission  by placing that regulatory  authority                                                              
in DOTPT.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GARY STEVENS  asked whether  the state  would lose  federal                                                              
funding if this legislation were to fail.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MACKINNON  replied  there  is  the  potential  for  sanctions                                                              
regarding funding applied.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GARY  STEVENS  called a  brief  at  ease  at 11:45  am  and                                                              
reconvened the meeting at 11:47 am.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS held the bill for a quorum.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                HJR 14-NATIONAL WHEELCHAIR GAMES                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MARK  GNADT, staff  to Representative  Eric  Croft, described  the                                                              
legislation as  a feel good bill.  He said the  Paralyzed Veterans                                                              
of America Exploratory  Committee would be visiting  Alaska during                                                              
the  2003  summer to  conduct  a  final  review of  the  Anchorage                                                              
facilities and  the sponsor would like  to be able to  present the                                                              
resolution to them to show that they  have the full support of the                                                              
Legislature.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS held the bill for a quorum.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
        HB  10-GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE FOR PRIVATE GROUPS                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HELEN BEDDER,  staff to Representative Cheryll  Heinze, introduced                                                              
the legislation and  explained it would help provide  coverage for                                                              
more  than 100,000  Alaskans that  have no  health care  coverage.                                                              
Current statute  defines eligible group types for  which insurance                                                              
companies  may   offer  coverage.  Groups  that   are  formed  for                                                              
insurance   services  aren't  currently   listed  and   therefore,                                                              
insurance companies may not offer  coverage to that group type. HB                                                              
10 amends  the statute  and allows  self employed individuals  and                                                              
groups  of  employers,  including  non-profits, to  pool  for  the                                                              
purpose of obtaining health insurance.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GRETCHEN GUESS  said it is her understanding  that certain                                                              
non-profits might  have employees  with higher health  care needs,                                                              
which  could lead  to  difficulty in  insurance  pooling. If  that                                                              
proves  to  be  the  case,  mental  health  [Mental  Health  Trust                                                              
Authority] has said they would help in the pooling.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. BEDDER agreed  that insurance companies have  been hesitant to                                                              
talk to  non-profits, but  HB 10 shows  the need for  some action.                                                              
She said  she didn't  know how the  Mental Health Trust  Authority                                                              
might be  used, but they have  committed at least $45,000  to help                                                              
the non-profits get affordable insurance.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRED DYSON  said he appreciates  the  work that has  been                                                              
done  in this area  and hopes  it will  be a  significant part  of                                                              
solving a large problem.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS made  a  motion to  move HB  10  and attached  zero                                                              
fiscal note from committee with individual  recommendations. There                                                              
being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
          HB 280-COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES:REGULATIONS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS advised  he was holding  the bill  until there                                                              
was a quorum  present to take action. He explained  the provisions                                                              
of the bill to Senator Fred Dyson.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GRETCHEN GUESS  made a motion to move HB  280 and attached                                                              
zero fiscal note  from committee with individual  recommendations.                                                              
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                HJR 14-NATIONAL WHEELCHAIR GAMES                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS advised  he was holding  the bill  until there                                                              
was a quorum  present to take action. He explained  the provisions                                                              
of the bill to Senator Fred Dyson.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GRETCHEN GUESS  made a motion to move HJR  14 and attached                                                              
zero fiscal note  from committee with individual  recommendations.                                                              
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
               SCR 13-CANNED SALMON FOR PRISONERS                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GARY  STEVENS  asked  whether   there  were  any  questions                                                              
regarding SCR 13.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRED  DYSON made  a motion to  move SCR 13\A  version from                                                              
committee   with  individual  recommendations.   There   being  no                                                              
objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                   HB 215- ONE PERCENT FOR ART                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BARBARA BITNEY,  staff to  Representative Bill Stoltze,  explained                                                              
the original  legislation was  to repeal the  one percent  for art                                                              
requirement, but  after working with  the Alaska State  Council of                                                              
the Arts the bill would:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
    · Apply only to state funding not federal funding                                                                           
    · Cap the one percent for a project at the first $10 million                                                                
      and at one-half percent thereafter.                                                                                       
    · Set aside five percent of the one percent for maintenance                                                                 
    · The Council would monitor and facilitate the maintenance                                                                  
      and restoration of existing art works.                                                                                    
    · Strengthen the Alaska artist's preference                                                                                 
    · Provide for reporting from state departments to the                                                                       
      Council                                                                                                                   
    · Require the Council to report to Legislative Budget and                                                                   
      Audit Committee on an annual basis                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRED DYSON asked what type of savings they anticipate.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. BITNEY  explained that the  attached report actually  provides                                                              
the best information available because  each agency tracks funding                                                              
differently,  which  makes  the  information  difficult  to  piece                                                              
together.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS said he has  followed the issue  with interest                                                              
and would like her  to expand on the changes made  to the original                                                              
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BITNEY  said it now applies  only to general  fund expenditure                                                              
rather  than the  total construction  cost. Federal  funds are  no                                                              
longer included.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON  asked whether  they  addressed anomalies  such  as                                                              
performing  arts centers  where the  entire  building is  arguably                                                              
dedicated to the  arts. Would the one percent  for art requirement                                                              
still apply in those instances?                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BITNEY  replied this  was  a  compromise since  the  original                                                              
legislation was to repeal the requirement altogether.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON   asked  about   facilities  that  aren't   readily                                                              
available to the public.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BITNEY explained  the  one percent  for  art  program is  for                                                              
buildings that have  substantial public use and  the Department of                                                              
Transportation and Public Facilities make that determination.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS asked why federal funds were no longer included.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BITNEY replied  it reduces  the required  allocation. If  you                                                              
were to use the  Anchorage Airport as an example  and consider the                                                              
federal funds that  have been added over time,  the art allocation                                                              
would be impossibly large.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS made  a motion  to move  HB 215  and attached  zero                                                              
fiscal note from committee with individual  recommendations. There                                                              
being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
         HB 209-MUNI.TAX:  PROPERTY AFFECTED BY DISASTER                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MIKE  CHENAULT, bill  sponsor, explained this  is a                                                              
local  tax  issue that  allows  municipalities  to provide  a  tax                                                              
reduction for property  destroyed, damaged or reduced  in value as                                                              
a result  of a disaster. Municipalities  would have the  leeway to                                                              
define a disaster  to include a fire  or flood in a  private home,                                                              
which is  an option  they don't  have currently.  They would  also                                                              
have  the ability  to  set the  parameters  on reassessing  values                                                              
after the renovation.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRED DYSON  asked whether the fact that a  house burned to                                                              
the  ground wouldn't  automatically  give the  property owner  tax                                                              
relief.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CHENAULT  said a municipality  would first  have to                                                              
adopt  an ordinance  declaring that  they  want to  take on  these                                                              
powers. Then  they would have to  set the criteria for  a disaster                                                              
declaration.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRED  DYSON said  he could  see the  situation in  which a                                                              
house burns down,  the owners collect the insurance  and get a tax                                                              
break on the property and spend the money.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS asked for the pleasure of the committee.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON said, "Move it."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS  said, "I assume that's a motion  Senator Dyson                                                              
to move it [CSHB 209(RLS)] with a  zero fiscal note and individual                                                              
recommendations." There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
               SJR 20-US COAST GUARD ROTC PROGRAM                                                                           
                                                                                                                              
SENATOR  KIM ELTON,  bill sponsor,  stated it  is his belief  that                                                              
everyone  is familiar with  the role  of the  Coast Guard  and the                                                              
notion  of a  ROTC program.  The resolution  encourages the  Coast                                                              
Guard to establish a junior ROTC  program in the Kodiak and Juneau                                                              
high schools.  It would be a  reflection of a high  school program                                                              
that has  been offered in Miami,  Florida for the last  ten years.                                                              
The other component of the program  is to encourage a ROTC program                                                              
at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS).                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The three areas the Coast Guard Academy  is most interested in are                                                              
management,  marine and  environmental  sciences, and  government.                                                              
All of these are strong programs  at UAS and the Dean of Students,                                                              
Paul Kraft,  thought the program would  be a good match.  He noted                                                              
the Coast Guard  Academy is currently meeting about  half the need                                                              
for officers  and if this were to  happen, it would be  the second                                                              
time the  University of Alaska  has cooperated with  the military.                                                              
The  first was  the  joint  on campus  recreation  center/National                                                              
Guard armory facility.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
He advised  the committee  they might want  to add Betty  Walters,                                                              
Superintendent  of  the Kodiak  Island  School District,  and  Bob                                                              
Meade, Principal of  the Kodiak High School, to the  list of those                                                              
who would receive copies of the resolution.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS expressed his  appreciation for  including Ms.                                                              
Walters  and Mr. Meade  because the  Coast Guard  is an  important                                                              
part of the Kodiak community.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRED DYSON  made a motion to adopt a  conceptual amendment                                                              
to add  Superintendent Betty  Walters and  Principal Bob  Meade to                                                              
the list  of recipients. There  being no objection,  amendment one                                                              
passed.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON  asked  what  the  Coast  Guard  population  is  in                                                              
Anchorage.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON said he didn't have  that information, but in Juneau                                                              
there are between  250 and 300 active duty Coast  Guard and a huge                                                              
retired  population.  He believes  the  same situation  exists  in                                                              
Kodiak.  That  pool  of  talent could  be  tapped  by  the  school                                                              
district to set up the ROTC program.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   DYSON  expressed   appreciation   that  the   resolution                                                              
encourages the establishment  of ROTC and Junior  ROTC programs in                                                              
other communities in the state.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS estimated  there are  about 1,000 active  duty                                                              
Coast Guard in Kodiak on ships, planes and the base itself.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR JOHN COWDERY  asked if there was any estimate  of how many                                                              
Alaska students might participate.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON said  that information isn't available,  but because                                                              
of  the number  of people  that grow  up in  fishing families  and                                                              
families  that are water  transportation  oriented, there  will be                                                              
significant interest.  In Alaska,  the Coast Guard  performs every                                                              
function; the military functions,  the search and rescue functions                                                              
and now the homeland security functions.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY made a motion to  move CSSJR 20 (STA) and attached                                                              
zero fiscal note  from committee with individual  recommendations.                                                              
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
          SB 201-HOME & RESPITE CARE: CRIMINAL RECORDS                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
BRIAN HOVE, aide  to Senator Ralph Seekins, explained  the Revisor                                                              
of Statutes requested the bill, which  corrects errors in chapters                                                              
45 and 118, SLA 1994.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRED DYSON  asked if there had been any  testimony against                                                              
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS  advised there were several  people that wanted                                                              
to testify on  the issue. He asked Jerry Luckhaupt  whether he had                                                              
any comments.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JERRY  LUCKAUPT,  Legislative  Legal   Services  Council,  further                                                              
explained that two bills were adopted  in the same year. One was a                                                              
comprehensive rewrite of the criminal  history record statutes and                                                              
the  other related  to home  care  and respite  care agencies  and                                                              
requiring criminal  history records  checks. Because of  the first                                                              
bill, the statute  that guided the process required  by the second                                                              
bill was  no longer there and  there was no other  obvious statute                                                              
that could  be referred  to. The Revisor  pointed this out  to the                                                              
Judiciary  Committee then  handed it  along to  him as the  person                                                              
that  handles  criminal law  and  related  matters. As  the  least                                                              
controversial  resolution, he  cited a federal  law that  requires                                                              
these checks regardless  of state law. The referenced  federal law                                                              
provides  that respite  care and  home care  agencies and  nursing                                                              
facilities  can all  request criminal  history  record checks  for                                                              
employees and prospective employees.  Hopefully, Health and Social                                                              
Services will  look at the statutes  and decide whether  they want                                                              
certain  convictions  to  disqualify  individuals  from  potential                                                              
employment.    Federal    law   doesn't    specifically    require                                                              
disqualification  for certain  jobs. It  requires the employer  to                                                              
get  the records  and  make a  determination  to hire  or fire  an                                                              
individual.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARY NICHOLSON asked:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
   · If the bill would include consumer direct based aid or just                                                                
     for facility based home care                                                                                               
   · If this would cover just local background criminal history                                                                 
     checks or would it include finger printing and FBI                                                                         
     background checks                                                                                                          
   · Would the bill allow any of the home care providers to be                                                                  
     grand fathered in                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. LUCKHAUPT advised the bill applies  to anyone that is required                                                              
to be licensed by the department  in these areas. Agencies that go                                                              
into the  home are  required to  be licensed  and if they  receive                                                              
state money they must do the checks.  The checks have been a state                                                              
requirement since  1994 and a  federal requirement since  1998. It                                                              
isn't just a local name based check  of the Alaska system. It is a                                                              
national fingerprint  check through the FBI and  is required under                                                              
federal law. He stressed this is not a new requirement.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He  further explained  that  in 1994  two  laws  were passed,  one                                                              
repealing  the statute  and the  other  citing to  it. Since  then                                                              
federal  law  has  established  a   new  requirement  for  an  FBI                                                              
fingerprint based  check for all,  not just new, home  health care                                                              
employees and prospective employees.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Because the Department of Health  and Social Services has not come                                                              
forward  to  remedy  the  problem,   Legislative  Legal  took  the                                                              
remedial course of  citing federal law as the  least controversial                                                              
solution.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON   asked  whether  similar  action   is  needed  for                                                              
childcare facilities.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. LUCKHAUPT advised this federal  law refers to home health care                                                              
workers and nursing facilities only.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SIDE B                                                                                                                        
12:35 pm                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Respite  care for  children  is covered,  but  foster parents  and                                                              
similar situations aren't covered under this federal law.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON  asked  if  this kind  of  check  is  required  for                                                              
childcare and foster parents.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LUCKHAUPT  stated  there  is  a  separate  law  dealing  with                                                              
fingerprint based background checks  for foster parents and others                                                              
that deal with children.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON said some  childcare providers  are concerned  that                                                              
they can't  get access  to juvenile  records for individuals  they                                                              
are employing  that are  just past the  age of majority.  Areas of                                                              
sexual misconduct are of particular  concern. He asked if it would                                                              
be possible  to have a  state statute  that would allow  access to                                                              
some juvenile criminal records.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. LUCKHAUPT said there's always  a problem with federal law with                                                              
certain  people  that  receive certain  federal  aid  through  the                                                              
Social  Security  Administration. Some  of  those  records have  a                                                              
requirement  for  a certain  level  of confidentiality,  but  they                                                              
could open  juvenile records  if they  elected to  do so  and they                                                              
have in certain cases.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON said he realizes that  was off topic for HB 201, but                                                              
he appreciated the information.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY made  a motion to move HB 201  and attached fiscal                                                              
note from committee with individual  recommendations. He asked for                                                              
unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
        HB  24-AGREEMENTS ON MANAGEMENT OF FISH AND GAME                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRUCE WEYHRAUCH, bill  sponsor, explained that when                                                              
Congress   passed   ANILCA,   [Alaska   National   Interest   Land                                                              
Conservation  Act] it made  Glacier Bay  National Park  a monument                                                              
and  expanded  the boundaries  to  include  the inside  waters  of                                                              
Glacier Bay out  into Icy Strait to the middle of  Cross Sound and                                                              
the outside  waters off shore three  miles into Lituya  Bay, which                                                              
encompasses  about 500,000  marine acres  of water.  In 1991,  the                                                              
Alaska Wildlife  Alliance  sued the park  superintendent  and said                                                              
ANILCA  prohibited fishing  in the  bay. The  Ninth Circuit  Court                                                              
confirmed that  ANILCA didn't prohibit  commercial fishing  in the                                                              
bay, but  the National  Park Service  (NPS) could, by  regulation,                                                              
close commercial  fishing in  the park.  After that decision,  the                                                              
NPS began to  close areas of the  bay to fishing and  then because                                                              
of the  growing storm  in Alaska, Senator  Ted Stevens  inserted a                                                              
provision in law  that closed commercial fishing  in certain areas                                                              
of Glacier Bay and restricted continued  commercial fishing in the                                                              
bay  proper to  those  who were  in the  tanner  crab, salmon  and                                                              
halibut  fisheries giving  them a lifetime  access permit.  Later,                                                              
Senator Frank Murkowski  passed Senate Bill 501  that required the                                                              
State  of Alaska  and the  federal  government to  enter into  co-                                                              
management agreements  on commercial  fishing. Co-management  is a                                                              
concern,  and  the  intent  of  this   bill  is  to  disallow  the                                                              
commissioner to enter into agreements  with the federal government                                                              
that cede  jurisdiction by contract  what can't happen  by federal                                                              
or constitutional law.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Initially the  bill was introduced  to prohibit all  co-management                                                              
agreements  between the  sovereign and  the State  of Alaska  that                                                              
surrender jurisdiction  and management over  commercial fisheries.                                                              
Currently the bill  prohibits the commissioner from  entering into                                                              
any contract with  the federal government [National  Park Service]                                                              
that cedes  jurisdiction over the  management and  jurisdiction of                                                              
Alaska commercial fisheries.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS said he understands  that jurisdiction could be                                                              
ceded, but only after a hearing and the legislative process.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WEYHRAUCH  said, "It  would  prohibit  it. If  the                                                              
State of  Alaska and  the NPS  entered in  agreement that  the NPS                                                              
could  set  species  to  be harvested  or  manner  and  method  or                                                              
seasons,  that   would  be  ceding   its  jurisdiction   over  the                                                              
management  of commercial  fisheries and  it couldn't  do that  by                                                              
contract  because  the state  has  plenary jurisdiction  over  the                                                              
management of our commercial fisheries."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The  House Judiciary  Committee  wanted to  extend  this to  every                                                              
contract  between  the state  and  federal government,  which  was                                                              
problematic.  There are  certain agreements  that are  ministerial                                                              
and  beneficial to  the  state and  don't  cede jurisdiction.  Co-                                                              
management  agreements  are  fine  so  long  as  they  don't  cede                                                              
jurisdiction.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  JOHN  COWDERY  asked how  many  co-management  agreements                                                              
there are.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH  said there are many. He said  he knew of                                                              
no co-management  agreements over fisheries in Glacier  Bay proper                                                              
and the  outside waters,  but this is  to provide notice  that the                                                              
Legislature is  sensitive to this  as well as to  caution agencies                                                              
not to cede management jurisdiction.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY asked about economic impacts.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH  said there aren't now  any co-management                                                              
agreements that are jurisdictional. The measure is prophylactic.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GARY STEVENS asked Mr. White to comment on the bill.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
STEVE WHITE,  Department of Law,  said their initial  concerns had                                                              
been addressed. It  is clear that the intent of the  bill does not                                                              
apply to  existing agreements in  which the state is  acting under                                                              
acknowledged  federal authority  and assisting  in the process  of                                                              
co-management.   The  state  is   cooperating  with   the  federal                                                              
government  in  areas  such  as   migratory  bird  management  and                                                              
management of subsistence, but it's  their interpretation that the                                                              
bill doesn't affect that.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRED  DYSON  asked  what  would  happen  if  the  federal                                                              
government  determined  the  state should  cede  jurisdiction  and                                                              
state law prohibited that.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. WHITE replied  the federal government couldn't  take any state                                                              
management prerogatives away without an act of Congress.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON asked whether it would  be necessary to file suit in                                                              
the event  of a  disagreement since  federal law supercedes  state                                                              
law.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WHITE  said he  wasn't  sure  which  party would  initiate  a                                                              
lawsuit.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH  said the state should  not cede, through                                                              
contract, what it can't cede by constitution;  and the Legislature                                                              
needs to  go on record  as setting a  policy in statute  that says                                                              
the  state  doesn't   have  co-management  agreements   that  cede                                                              
management jurisdiction.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON  asked if anyone had  testified against the  bill as                                                              
it moved through the House.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH  replied no one had. Initially  there was                                                              
discussion   regarding   language  nuance,   but   there  was   no                                                              
opposition.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY made a motion to  move CSHB 24(JUD) from committee                                                              
with individual recommendations.  There being no objection, it was                                                              
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There  being no  further business  to come  before the  committee,                                                              
CHAIR GARY STEVENS adjourned the meeting at 12:50 pm.                                                                           

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