Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/09/1993 01:00 PM CRA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 166: ENHANCED 911 SYSTEMS Number 020 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 166, testified, "In my district, the municipality of Anchorage was introducing this enhanced 911 service which basically is the emergency number with whistles and bells attached so that it allows a quicker response of the appropriate emergency service, whichever you might require. ...The problem was that this wasn't going to be available to all areas of the municipality, my district particularly, and even more startling to me is that the 911 number, as far as police emergency, would be withdrawn." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE continued, "Really all it (HB 166) does is requires a municipality provide this enhanced 911 service to all people within its boundaries and allows the municipality to collect a fee for this service because the enhancement does cost more than the other. The existing 911 service is quite an expensive service... In my district alone, for one year, it was nearly $50,000. So it is currently not free. The new system would allow the subscriber to pay for this service... Fifty cents a month in some municipalities, and the smaller ones, 75 cents a month." Number 104 ROBBY BENSON, CITY CLERK/TREASURER, DELTA JUNCTION, via teleconference asked if the fees could be used for dispatcher wages and if the surcharge would be listed separately on telephone bills. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "It is not my intent that it would be used for dispatcher wages... It is my belief it would be shown as a separate surcharge on the bill, but I'd have to defer that to someone who knows municipalities and utilities better than I..." MS. BENSON asked, "Delta (Junction) presently is installing the 911 enhanced system, so will this surcharge be available to us as well?" Number 139 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "The surcharge will be available wherever the enhanced 911 is installed, yes." Regarding dispatcher wages, he added, "That was not the way I read the bill (HB 166), however, I've been informed that others might look at that differently." MS. BENSON asked if ambulance runs were "private records" and "who is privy to those 911 calls". REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE replied, "They're certainly not available to the general public, but for the people that it's part of their duty or function, and the way I read medical records, that doesn't include the ambulance runs, no." Number 186 REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY MOVED that the committee adopt the working draft as a committee substitute (CS) for HB 166. Without objections, CSHB 166 was ADOPTED. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE addressed the CS, "The original HB 166 was under Title 42, which is Public Utilities, instead of Title 29, Municipal Government, and certainly not a function of APUC (Alaska Public Utilities Commission) to participate in the collection of fees for 911. The CS for HB 166 is to place the legislation in the statutes where it more rightly belongs." Number 198 KEVIN O'LEARY, CHIEF OF POLICE, ANCHORAGE, testified via teleconference in support of HB 166 saying, "I think it's a welcome addition to the state of Alaska and will allow communities to establish enhanced 911 system that they are able to pay for." Number 212 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES asked, "In the Anchorage municipality, have you tried to establish enhanced 911 systems and can't do it for one statutory reason or another?" MR. O'LEARY said, "We have an enhanced system now that is somewhat old and is in need of being replaced." He also indicated that HB 166 provides for "collection of necessary revenues to support the acquisition of the equipment" and "secondarily, the portion of the legislation that refers to 'community' is also something that we cannot provide for ourselves on a local level, it has to be enacted on a state level." Number 230 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked if the amount of surcharge (50 cents) "would be adequate for Anchorage." MR. O'LEARY said, "No, it will not be adequate, that surcharge will approximately raise 300,000 dollars in revenue. The current cost for operations of our dispatch center is a little over four million dollars of which 1.9 million dollars is applied strictly to 911 operations." Number 244 BONNIE GOLDEN, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT TO MAYOR GILMAN, KENAI PENINSULA BOROUGH, read the Mayor's position paper submitted to the committee members which supports CSHB 166. (A copy of this position paper may be found in the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee Room, Capitol Room 110, and after the adjournment of the second session of the 18th Alaska State Legislature, in the Legislative Reference Library.) REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked, "Specifically, what does this bill (HB 166) allow you to do that they can't do know, how does this help them?" MS. GOLDEN replied, "The way that I understand it, it allows us to charge for the 911 services..." Number 298 MARK JOHNSON, CHIEF, EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES SECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, testified, "We support the bill (HB 166). ...My only comment is, as far as emergency medical services, AS 29.35.020 allows for extraterritorial jurisdiction for certain services, including emergency medical services, and in the event that a municipality may choose, and I believe they do this by ordinance to provide service in a surrounding area, I would suggest the wording be flexible enough to allow that for the enhanced 911 service area." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked, "Do you envision that there would be parts of the borough where you would serve from one borough to the next?" MR. JOHNSON said, "I'm not sure how many municipalities would want to include this in their enhanced 911 system, but I do believe they ought to have that option. The Delta Junction ambulance, for example, picks up patients up and down the highway, and whether or not they and their local telephone exchange would want to accommodate enhanced 911 further out would be up to them..." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "I was just trying to think if there would be a municipality on a boundary where they might want to extend their service into another borough..." Number 342 CHAIRMAN OLBERG said, "In Delta Junction, for example, the City of Delta Junction operates the service but it covers a wide area within the unorganized borough, in fact." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE confirmed, "It would still then be available to all people in that borough or unorganized borough." CHAIRMAN OLBERG added, "The unorganized borough is a borough." REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said, "I would support this suggestion, I think the same situation is true for... Fairbanks. ...I think there are situations here where this might preclude that so I would support some kind of friendly amendment." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE replied, "I'm not opposed to that idea." Number 375 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "... I don't have any hesitation of spreading it out where a city, municipality or borough could then provide service as was suggested, as otherwise under [AS] 29.35.020..." CHAIRMAN OLBERG suggested possible amendments be produced. Number 389 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked, "Where it says 'the area may be all of a city', does that mean that the area may not be part of a city? Is that the intent of this language?" REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "That is very much the intent of this statute because my particular district was being left out and access to 911 should be expanded and not curtailed." Number 400 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY MACKIE offered, "Instead of an amendment... normally, you would explain to Legislative Legal what you're trying to accomplish and they'll come up with the language. I think it would be important to make sure that it was done by legal..." CHAIRMAN OLBERG asked Representative Bunde how he wanted to pursue the amendments. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "I guess I would like to possibly move this bill (HB 166) along with your intent to modify that particular phrase to (include) 'or otherwise provided for in AS 29.35.020'." CHAIRMAN OLBERG suggested a "conceptual amendment" that accompanies the bill (HB 166) so the bill "can begin its journey to its next committee of referral and save a little time that way." Number 425 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES suggested some consideration be given to cellular phone "possibilities." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked for specific suggestions regarding cellular phones for CSHB 166. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES volunteered to work "on a very small subcommittee to solve this problem." CHAIRMAN OLBERG said, "I love volunteers," and added, "We'll hear it again Thursday..." Number 460 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES reiterated, "Why is it necessary to do this? Why can't the municipalities do this on their own as it is? And the second one: Why are we limiting the population of the municipality of Anchorage to raise revenues to only 50 cents when everybody else gets the opportunity for the 75 (cents)." REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said, "I worked with people in the municipality and they felt this was a fair way to approach it. There is a responsibility, and I may be putting words in their mouths, this is my perception, of municipalities providing services and there's also then an opportunity for people to pay in some measure for their services. As you might imagine you have lots of fires, your share of the fire department budget doesn't go up even though you're a greater demand of the service than someone who has no fires. And to your first question, municipalities did not feel they were able to institute this service, particularly from boundary to boundary, without this additional legislation." CHAIRMAN OLBERG suggested the details be sorted out in a subcommittee comprised of Representatives Bunde and Davies. Number 490 Chairman Olberg called an at ease at 1:32 p.m.