Legislature(2019 - 2020)BUTROVICH 205

04/25/2019 03:30 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 73 SUCCESSOR OF LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+= SB 75 COMMERCIAL VEHICLE LICENSING REQ'S TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 75 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+= HB 48 TEMP STATE EMPLOYEES IN PART EXEMPT SVCE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 48(FIN) AM Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 25, 2019                                                                                         
                           3:37 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator John Coghill, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Lora Reinbold                                                                                                           
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Mike Shower, Chair                                                                                                      
Senator Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 48(FIN) AM                                                                              
"An Act  removing from  the exempt service  of the  state persons                                                               
who are employed  in a professional capacity to  make a temporary                                                               
or special  inquiry, study, or  examination as authorized  by the                                                               
governor  and including  those persons  in  the partially  exempt                                                               
service of the state; repealing  the authority of the governor or                                                               
a  designee of  the  governor  to authorize  higher  pay than  is                                                               
otherwise  allowable for  certain partially  exempt employees  in                                                               
the   executive    branch;   requiring   the    commissioner   of                                                               
administration  to  submit  a  report  to  the  legislature;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 48(FIN) AM OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 75                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating to  a  license  to  drive a  commercial  motor                                                               
vehicle."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 75 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL 73                                                                                                                  
"An Act  relating to  succession to the  offices of  governor and                                                               
lieutenant  governor in  case of  vacancy; and  providing for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  48                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: TEMP STATE EMPLOYEES IN PART EXEMPT SVCE                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) WILSON                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
02/20/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/20/19       (H)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
03/18/19       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/18/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/18/19       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/20/19       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/20/19       (H)       Moved HB 48 Out of Committee                                                                           
03/20/19       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/22/19       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/22/19       (H)       Moved HB 48 Out of Committee                                                                           
03/22/19       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/25/19       (H)       L&C RPT 3DP 1NR                                                                                        
03/25/19       (H)       DP: HANNAN, TALERICO, LEDOUX                                                                           
03/25/19       (H)       NR: WOOL                                                                                               
03/26/19       (H)       FIN AT 9:00 AM ADAMS ROOM 519                                                                          
03/26/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/26/19       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/28/19       (H)       FIN AT 9:00 AM ADAMS ROOM 519                                                                          
03/28/19       (H)       Moved CSHB 48(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                    
03/28/19       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/29/19       (H)       FIN RPT CS(FIN) NT 7DP 4NR                                                                             
03/29/19       (H)       DP: JOHNSTON, LEBON, KNOPP, JOSEPHSON,                                                                 
                         ORTIZ, WILSON, FOSTER                                                                                  
03/29/19       (H)       NR:    CARPENTER,    TILTON,    MERRICK,                                                               
                        SULLIVAN-LEONARD                                                                                        
04/08/19       (H)       BEFORE HOUSE IN SECOND READING                                                                         
04/09/19       (H)       NOT TAKEN UP 4/9 - ON 4/10 CALENDAR                                                                    
04/10/19       (H)       NOT TAKEN UP 4/10 - ON 4/11 CALENDAR                                                                   
04/12/19       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/12/19       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 48(FIN) AM                                                                               
04/15/19       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/15/19       (S)       STA                                                                                                    
04/23/19       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/23/19       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/23/19       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/25/19       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  75                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: COMMERCIAL VEHICLE LICENSING REQ'S                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) COSTELLO                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
03/06/19       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/06/19       (S)       TRA, STA                                                                                               
03/19/19       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/19/19       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/19/19       (S)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
03/28/19       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/28/19       (S)       Moved SB 75 Out of Committee                                                                           
03/28/19       (S)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
03/29/19       (S)       TRA RPT 3DP 1NR                                                                                        
03/29/19       (S)       DP: HUGHES, SHOWER, KIEHL                                                                              
03/29/19       (S)       NR: WILSON                                                                                             
04/18/19       (S)       STA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/18/19       (S)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
04/25/19       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TAMMIE WILSON                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 48.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
REMOND HENDERSON, Staff                                                                                                         
Senator Tammie Wilson                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau                                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions and provided information                                                               
related to HB 48.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
KATE SHEEHAN, Director                                                                                                          
Division of Personnel and Labor Relations                                                                                       
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions and provided information                                                               
related to HB 48.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES MCKEE, representing self                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified during the hearing on HB 48.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOE PLESHA, Staff                                                                                                               
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced SB 75 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
AVES THOMPSON, Executive Director                                                                                               
Alaska Trucking Association                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 75.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DON ETHERIDGE, Lobbyist                                                                                                         
AFL-CIO                                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 75.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
3:37:19 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR JOHN COGHILL called  the Senate State Affairs Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 3:37  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were Senators Reinbold, Micciche, and Vice Chair Coghill.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
        HB  48- TEMP STATE EMPLOYEES IN PART EXEMPT SVCE                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:38:18 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR  COGHILL announced the  consideration of CS  FOR HOUSE                                                               
BILL NO. 48(FIN) am, "An Act  removing from the exempt service of                                                               
the state persons who are  employed in a professional capacity to                                                               
make a  temporary or  special inquiry,  study, or  examination as                                                               
authorized by  the governor  and including  those persons  in the                                                               
partially exempt  service of the  state; repealing  the authority                                                               
of  the governor  or  a  designee of  the  governor to  authorize                                                               
higher  pay than  is otherwise  allowable  for certain  partially                                                               
exempt  employees   in  the   executive  branch;   requiring  the                                                               
commissioner  of  administration  to   submit  a  report  to  the                                                               
legislature; and providing for an effective date."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He  asked the  sponsor  to  respond to  the  questions that  were                                                               
raised during the previous hearing.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:39:19 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TAMMIE  WILSON, Alaska State  Legislature, Juneau,                                                               
sponsor of  HB 48, said  she'd like  Mr. Henderson to  respond to                                                               
Senator Micciche's  question about whether the  bill would affect                                                               
the governor's  ability to  hire somebody  who commands  a higher                                                               
salary to work on a specialized project.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:39:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REMOND  HENDERSON, Staff,  Senator  Tammie  Wilson, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau, explained  that  the  governor would  still                                                               
have the  authority to  hire somebody  under AS  39.25.110, which                                                               
exempts the Office of the Governor from the Personnel Act.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR COGHILL  offered his understanding that  this would be                                                               
under the  governor's broad  authority to  hire and  the position                                                               
may or may not be temporary.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. HENDERSON said that's correct.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE T.  WILSON referenced  the list of  exempt service                                                               
PCNs  the Department  of  Administration  provided and  explained                                                               
that  it focuses  on when  these  supposedly temporary  positions                                                               
were established.  The earliest is  1989 and several  others were                                                               
established in  2003 and 2010,  none of which are  temporary. She                                                               
also pointed  out that some  of these positions have  been filled                                                               
more  than  once,  which  doesn't seem  very  temporary.  If  the                                                               
position  isn't temporary  it should  be classified  differently,                                                               
she said. She described the  bill as being about transparency and                                                               
ensuring that fulltime employees are treated equitably.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:42:03 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE commented that  the list the department provided                                                               
does not include those highly  specialized and highly compensated                                                               
positions he  talked about during  the last hearing. He  said the                                                               
people  on this  list  probably  should not  have  been hired  as                                                               
exempts so there is abuse of  the system, but the salaries aren't                                                               
out  of line.  He assured  the public  that if  they were  out of                                                               
line, the  committee would  jump on  that immediately.  He agreed                                                               
with the  sponsor that this  brings the  issue out into  the open                                                               
and lets this and future  administrations know the expectation is                                                               
that  hiring  will  be  done correctly,  employees  will  all  be                                                               
treated fairly, and the process will be transparent.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:44:11 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE T.  WILSON remarked that  this is just one  of the                                                               
issues that needs  to be addressed. She's  identified others that                                                               
she'll also look into.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  COGHILL commented  on  the  lengthy list  of  exempt                                                               
positions in the statute.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  REINBOLD   asked  if  the  department's   list  reflects                                                               
bimonthly pay.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HENDERSON answered  yes; the  compensation that's  listed is                                                               
paid twice a  month. He also clarified that salaries  for some of                                                               
the positions  on the list are  up to $120,000 per  year and that                                                               
some exempt positions  that clearly are temporary  and not highly                                                               
compensated, such as elections workers, are not on the list.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MICCICHE asked  if all  the larger  numbers on  the list                                                               
reflect the bimonthly base rate.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON deferred the question to Ms. Sheehan.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:46:29 PM                                                                                                                    
KATE  SHEEHAN,   Director,  Division   of  Personnel   and  Labor                                                               
Relations, Department  of Administration, Juneau,  confirmed that                                                               
most  of the  numbers are  semimonthly  base rates  and some  are                                                               
hourly rates.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  COGHILL asked  if this  exemption provides  a special                                                               
and helpful tool.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHEEHAN  replied it depends  on the position. She  noted that                                                               
when the  statute was  changed in 1982  to "temporary  or special                                                               
inquiry"  instead  of  "and,"  it started  being  used  for  more                                                               
permanent  projects  like the  gas  pipeline.  Other options  are                                                               
available such  that an  exempt agency  or the  governor's office                                                               
could employ  an exempt employee.  She said it would  be limiting                                                               
in  the  partially exempt  services  where  there are  classified                                                               
nonpermanent employees. She said she  doesn't know why things are                                                               
set up a certain way but she is  aware that it has helped DOA set                                                               
up new divisions fairly quickly.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  COGHILL offered his  understanding that  those people                                                               
could be hired fairly quickly under the governor's authority.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHEEHAN  confirmed that a  position for a  high-level project                                                               
that is  set up by  the governor's  office would be  exempt right                                                               
away.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  COGHILL asked what  caused hiring under  this section                                                               
of the statute to be less transparent.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHEEHAN said she didn't know.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  REINBOLD  asked what  the  Position  Time Class  "ltexe"                                                               
refers to.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHEEHAN replied that is long term exempt.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE  asked if  some of  the people  on the  list are                                                               
employed  under  AS  39.25.110(9)   and  AS  39.27.011(k),  which                                                               
Section  2 repeals.  He also  recalled  that petroleum  employees                                                               
generally work under a different statute.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SHEEHAN  replied the  list  has  only the  temporary  exempt                                                               
positions under  paragraph (9). It  does not capture  every state                                                               
employee who  is paid at a  higher rate under the  subsection (k)                                                               
exception. She  noted that some  of the petroleum  positions that                                                               
are listed as temporary exempt  are actually exempt under statute                                                               
but they  were never updated  in the system. She  reiterated that                                                               
the list                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MICCICHE  asked why  the  list  includes some  petroleum                                                               
professionals, the  highest of  which is  paid $168,000,  when AS                                                               
39.25.110(14) provides the following specific exemption:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     (14) petroleum  engineers and petroleum  geologists employed                                                               
     in  a professional  capacity by  the  Department of  Natural                                                               
     Resources  and  by  the  Alaska  Oil  and  Gas  Conservation                                                               
     Commission;                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:52:53 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. SHEEHAN  explained that the positions  were established years                                                               
ago  and subsequent  legislation placed  them in  exempt service.                                                               
For some  reason they were  never updated  in the system  so they                                                               
come up  as temporary exempt when  a report is run.  She said her                                                               
office did send the report to  all agency HR managers asking what                                                               
the duties are  for these positions and hopefully  that will help                                                               
get  the positions  appropriately categorized  as exempt  if they                                                               
are exempt under current statute.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE  asked if the professionals  in those necessary,                                                               
high-cost positions could be hired under AS 39.25.110(14).                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHEEHAN said yes.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  COGHILL  asked if  repealing  AS  39.27.011(k)  will                                                               
result in those positions being hired under AS 29.25.110.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHEEHAN explained  that the subsection (k)  exception was put                                                               
in statute in 2013 and  it applies to partially exempt employees.                                                               
The testimony  at the time  was that it would  be a tool  to hire                                                               
partially exempt  people at a  pay increment that is  higher than                                                               
the highest merit  step F. Those positions are  separate from the                                                               
truly exempt  positions that  are not confined  by the  state pay                                                               
plan in the Personnel Act.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  COGHILL  offered his  understanding  that  repealing                                                               
subsection (k) narrows the ability to pay beyond a certain step.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SHEEHAN  said yes,  step  F  would  be the  highest  without                                                               
setting up an exempt position.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE said he believes  that a number of the positions                                                               
that will disappear are needed. He  asked if it would be possible                                                               
to fill  those needed positions  with highly skilled  people that                                                               
come at a certain cost.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHEEHAN said it would depend on the position.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:57:51 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD said she likes the bill and is ready to vote.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  COGHILL observed that  the administration  will still                                                               
be  able  to  hire  the   talent  it  needs,  although  repealing                                                               
subsection (k) may change how a director is hired.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE asked if step F is bimonthly.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SHEEHAN answered  yes; partially  exempt employees  and most                                                               
exempt employees are paid semimonthly.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MICCICHE asked  if  the  monthly salary  for  step F  is                                                               
double what's shown on the list.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHEEHAN answered yes.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR COGHILL offered his  understanding that the difference                                                               
between  the exemption  under AS  39.27.011(k) and  the exemption                                                               
under AS 39.25.110(9) is that  one requires justification and the                                                               
other does not.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHEEHAN  confirmed that there  must be  written justification                                                               
by  the  governor or  their  designee  under the  subsection  (k)                                                               
exception.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE  responded, "Mr.  Chairman, right where  you are                                                               
right there.  If that's  the case  that completely  eliminates my                                                               
concern on the bill."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:59:36 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR COGHILL opened public testimony on HB 48.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:00:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHARLES MCKEE,  representing self, Anchorage, testified  that his                                                               
account was  subjugated and the  state corporation  defrauded him                                                               
in 1983  because the Anchorage  Times lied about him.  He's never                                                               
recovered.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR COGHILL  advised that testimony must be  germane to HB                                                               
48.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCKEE said he sent  information to his representative's staff                                                               
member.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR COGHILL asked if he had testimony on HB 48.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCKEE  said his testimony  does pertain  to HB 48  because he                                                               
sent the information to a temporary employee.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  COGHILL suggested  he  submit  written testimony  to                                                               
senate.state.affairs@akleg.gov                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:03:31 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR COGHILL found no  further testifiers and closed public                                                               
testimony on HB 48.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REINBOLD stated particular support for Section 5.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE recapped that this  bill takes care of a problem                                                               
but allows  the same  businesses to continue  in a  different way                                                               
and with more transparency.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:04:49 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE  moved   to  report  HB  48,   work  order  31-                                                               
LS0346\U.A, from committee  [with individual recommendations] and                                                               
attached fiscal note(s).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:05:25 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE  CHAIR COGHILL  found no  objection and  CSHB 48(FIN)am  was                                                               
reported from the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:05:32 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
           SB  75-COMMERCIAL VEHICLE LICENSING REQ'S                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:07:06 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE  CHAIR  COGHILL reconvened  the  meeting  and announced  the                                                               
consideration  of SENATE  BILL  NO.  75, "An  Act  relating to  a                                                               
license to drive a commercial motor vehicle."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:07:45 PM                                                                                                                    
JOE PLESHA, Staff, Senator Mia  Costello, Juneau, stated that the                                                               
sponsor has identified two problems  the trucking industry faces.                                                               
One  is  that  the  demand  for drivers  in  Alaska  exceeds  the                                                               
available workforce.  The second  problem relates to  the federal                                                               
statute on interstate  freight that requires drivers to  be 21 or                                                               
older to carry any freight  that originated outside the state. SB                                                               
75 addresses these  issues. First, it changes the  minimum age to                                                               
obtain a commercial  driver's license (CDL) from 19  years of age                                                               
to 18  years of age,  which will  increase the pool  of available                                                               
drivers.  This change  will  make it  possible  to recruit  young                                                               
people as they graduate high school.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SB 75 also  authorizes a person who  is at least 18  years of age                                                               
but under  21 years  of age  to operate  a commercial  vehicle in                                                               
interstate commerce. This new subsection  anticipates a change in                                                               
federal law  that prohibits  drivers under 21  years of  age from                                                               
carrying interstate  freight. This is particularly  cumbersome in                                                               
Alaska. The  hope is that the  federal law will change  if enough                                                               
states pass  legislation similar to  SB 75. Alaska will  be ready                                                               
when that happens.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. PLESHA described SB 75 as a proactive potential jobs bill.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:11:02 PM                                                                                                                    
AVES  THOMPSON, Executive  Director, Alaska  Trucking Association                                                               
(ATA), Anchorage,  reported that ATA is  a statewide organization                                                               
representing nearly  200 member  companies. He  described freight                                                               
moving  as  an essential  element  of  the economy  that  impacts                                                               
people every  day. He  said that ATA  believes that  lowering the                                                               
eligibility age  for an  intrastate CDL will  provide a  path for                                                               
young people to  start a truck-driving career. He  said that both                                                               
intrastate  and  interstate  drivers  are  subject  to  the  same                                                               
qualifications and rules  and Alaska adopts the  federal rules by                                                               
reference in  AAC 17.25.210. He pointed  out that an 18  year old                                                               
can  qualify  for  a commercial  pilot's  license.  Lowering  the                                                               
intrastate license  requirement to  age 18  allows young  men and                                                               
women  who have  graduated  high school  to  immediately begin  a                                                               
career as  a truck driver. This  is a good opportunity  for young                                                               
people and  it will build  a larger  driver pool to  help satisfy                                                               
the demand  for commercial  vehicle drivers.  He warned  that the                                                               
current driver  shortage will only  get worse if a  major project                                                               
starts. SB  75 will help  solve this  problem in Alaska  and when                                                               
Congress changes  the law  to lower  the interstate  driving age,                                                               
Alaska will be ready.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR COGHILL  asked if he anticipates  insurance costs will                                                               
go up if the age to receive a CDL goes down.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. THOMPSON said ATA does  not believe that insurance rates will                                                               
spike, but there may be  some increase. The market will determine                                                               
whether companies can afford to pay for those drivers.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR COGHILL asked how long  it takes to go through the CDL                                                               
training.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMPSON explained  that there is a 5-6  week training course                                                               
for novice  drivers. The new  driver then  has to find  a carrier                                                               
that  will  hire  them  and go  through  that  training  program.                                                               
"Clearly a prudent motor carrier is  not going to turn over a $.5                                                               
million  rig  to someone  they  don't  have confidence  in  their                                                               
ability to drive," he said.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:16:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE said he heard  the bill in another committee and                                                               
he supports it as a win-win  for young people in the state. Those                                                               
training programs  are strict so  it's not as  though unqualified                                                               
18 year olds will be driving, he said.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. Thompson  reiterated that an  18 year  old can qualify  for a                                                               
commercial pilot's license.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:17:59 PM                                                                                                                    
DON ETHERIDGE,  Lobbyist, AFL-CIO, Juneau, stated  that the union                                                               
supports  SB 75.  He  said  that when  young  people enter  their                                                               
apprenticeship programs, they  are required to have  a CDL within                                                               
the first 2,000  hours to advance to the next  step. If the young                                                               
person  is just  out of  high school  and 18,  they have  to wait                                                               
until  they turn  19. The  union sees  this bill  as helpful  for                                                               
apprenticeship  programs to  get these  young people  trained and                                                               
working. He  listed the union jobs  that require a CDL  and noted                                                               
that some years ago he chaired  a board that helped at-risk youth                                                               
stay  out of  trouble  and  find work.  He  said  some went  into                                                               
apprenticeship  programs and  he  believes this  bill would  help                                                               
that  program as  well. He  described  the CDL  test as  rigorous                                                               
saying  that  it  takes  study   and  effort  to  pass.  He  also                                                               
highlighted that someone who has a  CDL is subject to random drug                                                               
testing.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:20:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD said  she supports random drug  testing which is                                                               
one reason  she supports the bill.  She asked if he  could take a                                                               
position on  random drug testing  for the employees of  all three                                                               
branches of government.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. ETHRIDGE responded that he is  subject to drug testing and he                                                               
doesn't have  a problem with it,  but as a lobbyist  for the AFL-                                                               
CIO he can't  take a position because they  haven't discussed it.                                                               
However, the union does take drug testing seriously.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REINBOLD  asked what  the consequence  is for  a positive                                                               
drug test for someone who holds a CDL.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ETHRIDGE replied  they lose  their license  for a  period of                                                               
time and it could be a firing offense.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  REINBOLD  asked what  the  blood  alcohol content  (BAC)                                                               
limit is for alcohol.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ETHRIDGE  said alcohol  is  .04  and the  drug  prohibitions                                                               
follow federal law so marijuana is prohibited.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REINBOLD said, "Excellent."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:24:30 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:25:06 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR COGHILL reconvened the meeting.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:25:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE moved  to report SB 75,  work order 31-LS0610\A,                                                               
from  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached                                                               
fiscal note(s).                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  COGHILL found no objection  and SB 75 moved  from the                                                               
Senate State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:26:12 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Vice Chair  Coghill adjourned the  Senate State  Affairs Standing                                                               
Committee meeting at 4:26 pm.                                                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SSTA OFFICIAL AGENDA MEMO.pdf SSTA 4/25/2019 3:30:00 PM
agenda
CSHB048(FIN) am ver U.A Sponsor Statement.pdf SSTA 4/25/2019 3:30:00 PM
HB 48
CSHB0048(FIN) am ver U.A.pdf SSTA 4/25/2019 3:30:00 PM
HB 48
CSHB048(FIN) am ver U.A Explanation of Changes.pdf SSTA 4/25/2019 3:30:00 PM
HB 48
CSHB 48 - Fiscal Note - DOA.pdf SSTA 4/25/2019 3:30:00 PM
HB 48
HB 48 - EX Branch Select LTEXE and Temp Positions - DOA Response.pdf SSTA 4/25/2019 3:30:00 PM
HB 48
SB 75 Sponsor Statement.pdf SSTA 4/25/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB 75 Bill Text Version A.PDF SSTA 4/25/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB 75 Fiscal Note_DMV.pdf SSTA 4/25/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB 75 Letter of Support_NIT.pdf SSTA 4/25/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB 75 Letter of Support_Carlile.pdf SSTA 4/25/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB 75 Letter of Support_AFLCIO.pdf SSTA 4/25/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB 75 Letter of Support_Local 302.pdf SSTA 4/25/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 75
SB 75 Letter of Support_Local 959.pdf SSTA 4/25/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 75