Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 124

04/12/2005 08:00 AM House COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 249(CRA) Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
HB 249-ENHANCED 911 SURCHARGES                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR THOMAS announced that the  first order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL  NO.  249,  "An  Act  relating  to  enhanced  911                                                               
surcharges imposed by a municipality."                                                                                          
8:12:45 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MIKE HAWKER,  Alaska State  Legislature, Sponsor,                                                               
explained  that HB  74 was  introduced  early in  the session  by                                                               
Representative  Holm.   However,  Representative Holm  ultimately                                                               
decided not to continue as prime  sponsor of HB 74, and therefore                                                               
Representative Hawker  introduced HB 249 to  continue the effort.                                                               
He further  explained that HB  249 was introduced  in cooperation                                                               
with the  co-chairs of the  House Community and  Regional Affairs                                                               
Standing  Committee and  is in  essence the  committee substitute                                                               
(CS) that was going to be utilized for HB 74.                                                                                   
8:14:28 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  OLSON moved  to adopt  CSHB  249, Version  24-LS0853\G,                                                               
Cook,  4/11/05,  as  the  working   document.    There  being  no                                                               
objection, Version G was before the committee.                                                                                  
8:14:45 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN said  that he  supports enhanced  911, but                                                               
expressed concern with the $2.00  surcharge on each line that can                                                               
increase  beyond  the $2.00.    He  also expressed  concern  with                                                               
regard to  the lack of ability  to determine the location  of 911                                                               
calls  made via  cell phones.    Furthermore, a  large burden  is                                                               
placed  on  those  organizations  with multiple  lines,  such  as                                                               
schools  and  businesses.    Representative  Neuman  related  his                                                               
concern with regard to the various  lines coming in to homes that                                                               
would each have a surcharge for enhanced 911 services.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER highlighted that  this legislation is about                                                               
safer  communities and  saving lives,  which  requires a  certain                                                               
capital  investment and  a sustained  funding source.   When  one                                                               
dials  911, there  is the  expectation  that a  human being  will                                                               
answer to provide the critical  services.  He related an incident                                                               
in his  district in which an  individual was lying on  the ground                                                               
bleeding from a  gun shot wound.  Although  the individual dialed                                                               
911,  the  caller couldn't  be  identified  [or located].    This                                                               
legislation would  provide the resources  that would  move Alaska                                                               
forward  with  the  technology   necessary  to  respond  to  such                                                               
emergencies.     With   regard  to   the  $2.00   surcharge,  the                                                               
legislation specifies that the surcharge  "may not exceed $2.00".                                                               
Representative Hawker stressed  that he would like  to provide as                                                               
much  latitude on  the level  of  the surcharge  to those  making                                                               
decisions   through   local   elected  representatives.      This                                                               
legislation,  he opined,  strikes  a  reasonable balance  between                                                               
providing the  necessary public services  to save  lives, without                                                               
the risk of a runaway government and excessive taxation.                                                                        
8:20:32 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked if it's  true that even with enhanced                                                               
911  service,  the  location  of  a  cell  phone  call  can't  be                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER deferred to the technology experts.                                                                       
8:21:09 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN related  his understanding  that there  is                                                               
already a  911 system in  which the  location of the  house [from                                                               
which the line is billed] can be identified.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER  agreed, but  noted that  in some  areas of                                                               
the  state  such  services  aren't  available,  although  it's  a                                                               
federal mandate.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  said that most  of the larger  rural areas                                                               
already  have enhanced  911 services.   He  reminded everyone  to                                                               
call  telephone  companies  to revise  the  directions  to  one's                                                               
house.   He  pointed out  that the  legislation specifies  that a                                                               
borough must share  the revenue with the other  cities within it,                                                               
but it doesn't specify a rate.   He expressed concern with regard                                                               
to global  positioning systems  (GPS) in  telephones due  to that                                                               
providing the ability to track an individual's whereabouts.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER  emphasized that this  legislation provides                                                               
the  maximum respect  for local  control and  self determination.                                                               
The allocations between a borough and   its communities are to be                                                               
determined by the borough and  those communities.  He related his                                                               
discomfort with  dictating, at the  state level,  how communities                                                               
should  handle  a  specific  negotiation.   With  regard  to  the                                                               
technology, Representative  Hawker said that it  doesn't become a                                                               
bug in  your pocket because  the locator would only  be triggered                                                               
when necessary.                                                                                                                 
8:24:18 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN recalled  hearing testimony  in opposition                                                               
to HB  249 from AT&T  representatives who felt less  people would                                                               
purchase less cell phones.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER  related that he  has been working  for two                                                               
years with phone  companies to allay concerns.  He  noted that he                                                               
has a  letter dated February 24,  2005, to Senator Bunde,  who is                                                               
carrying   the   companion   Senate  legislation.      From   the                                                               
aforementioned  letter he  read the  following:   "That AT&T  has                                                               
been  following the  issue of  enhanced surcharges  with interest                                                               
and  concern since  last year.   That  the Senate  substitute for                                                               
their  bill with  the $2.00  per line  ceiling and  provisions to                                                               
exceed that  with voter approval  represents a  fair compromise."                                                               
Representative Hawker  acknowledged that the phone  companies are                                                               
largely concerned with regard to  being agents collecting the fee                                                               
and  with  regard  to  there  being an  unlimited  ceiling.    He                                                               
reiterated  that  he  has  been  working  with  the  industry  to                                                               
accommodate those concerns.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN  said  that  perhaps he  was  thinking  of                                                               
another  carrier,  but  highlighted that  there  isn't  unanimous                                                               
support of this.                                                                                                                
8:26:17 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR OLSON  recalled that  the concern was  related to  HB 74                                                               
when the  surcharge was  originally set  at $5.00.   He  asked if                                                               
anyone has complained regarding the $.75 surcharge.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER replied no.                                                                                               
8:26:48 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  if this  legislation  will  impact                                                               
areas of the state that currently don't have 911 service.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  HAWKER specified  that HB  249 doesn't  allow the                                                               
imposition of surcharges where no service is provided.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  further  asked  if HB  249  would  impact                                                               
whether there  will be  services provided  in those  areas [which                                                               
don't currently receive such services].                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  HAWKER  opined  that this  legislation  could  be                                                               
interpreted  as  a vehicle  in  which  local telephone  companies                                                               
could  work  with local  municipalities  to  obtain 911  service.                                                               
However, there are  a number of significant issues  which must be                                                               
overcome, such as  the first responder may not be  located in the                                                               
community where  the crisis is occurring.   Representative Hawker                                                               
expressed  the  need to  continue  to  work on  providing  better                                                               
access to public safety services.                                                                                               
8:28:38 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   CISSNA   expressed    her   belief   that   "the                                                               
municipality" language,  is critical because  it is then  a local                                                               
choice with  regard to what  may be  imposed.  She  asked whether                                                               
this legislation addresses multiple  lines charged to one billing                                                               
address,  and also  asked if  the surcharge  would be  charged to                                                               
each line.                                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER referred to the  language [on page 1, lines                                                               
10-11], which  says "access lines that  provide telephone service                                                               
to wire line telephones in the  area".  He opined that the intent                                                               
was to  provide service such  that the individual telephone  in a                                                               
large  office building  could be  located rather  than where  the                                                               
telephone switch is located, which  may be a completely different                                                               
8:31:57 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR THOMAS related an accident  in Haines last year in which                                                               
the 911 call was routed to  Juneau.  Unfortunately, it took about                                                               
an hour and a half to  determine [the location of the caller] and                                                               
in the  meantime, the individual  who was  only a few  miles from                                                               
[Haines proper] died.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER  requested that everyone keep  in mind that                                                               
this legislation  is first and  foremost about saving lives.   He                                                               
characterized HB  249 as cornerstone  legislation from  which the                                                               
legislature  makes  a  commitment  to  build  emergency  response                                                               
services and provide access to them.                                                                                            
8:34:29 AM                                                                                                                    
LINDA FREED,  City Manager, City of  Kodiak, said HB 249  is very                                                               
important to  municipalities.  She  agreed that  this legislation                                                               
is  a  good  start  in  addressing all  of  the  complexities  of                                                               
enhanced 911  and emergency response  systems in the state.   Ms.                                                               
Freed noted that  the language on page 2, lines  18-20, is a good                                                               
addition to  the legislation.   In fact,  the City of  Kodiak and                                                               
the Kodiak Island Borough have  already created a local agreement                                                               
regarding how the revenues [from  the proposed surcharge] will be                                                               
shared.    Ms.  Freed  noted her  agreement  with  Representative                                                               
Hawker that  HB 249  should be  a local option  in order  for the                                                               
local  communities  to  implement   the  best  system  for  their                                                               
community.   Ms. Freed  encouraged the committee  to move  HB 249                                                               
8:36:22 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN  asked  whether  [Kodiak]  would  use  the                                                               
entire $2.00 surcharge or less.                                                                                                 
MS. FREED  opined that it's  unlikely that Kodiak  would increase                                                               
its surcharge  from the $.75  until there is  a review as  to the                                                               
equipment  necessary for  cell  phone service.    The cell  phone                                                               
issue isn't as  compelling in Kodiak as for  those communities on                                                               
the  road system.    She further  opined that  funds  need to  be                                                               
available for all  of the emergency dispatch  response portion of                                                               
the  system, not  just for  the enhanced  911 system.   If  those                                                               
funds  could  be  used  for   greater  emergency  dispatch,  then                                                               
[Kodiak] would  review increasing the  fee.  The  surcharge could                                                               
also be  increased in  order to  support communities  without 911                                                               
8:38:46 AM                                                                                                                    
DAVID GIBBS,  Emergency Manager, Kenai Peninsula  Borough, stated                                                               
that  the Kenai  Peninsula Borough  supports an  increase in  the                                                               
enhanced 911  surcharge.   He related  that the  borough is  at a                                                               
crossroads in terms  of implementing the wireless Phase  I and II                                                               
enhanced  911   services,  which  is  required   by  the  Federal                                                               
Communications  Commission  (FCC),  that include  the  technology                                                               
that provides  the location of  a cell  phone caller.   Mr. Gibbs                                                               
agreed  with the  earlier characterization  of HB  249 as  a good                                                               
start, although it  doesn't address all the  enhanced 911 issues.                                                               
He expressed  concern with  the mechanism  by which  the enhanced                                                               
911 surcharge  revenue would  be shared  with other  areas within                                                               
the enhanced  911 service  area.  He  highlighted that  the Kenai                                                               
Peninsula Borough  is responsible  for many  of the  basic costs,                                                               
such    as   dedicated    line   charges,    automatic   location                                                               
identification (ALI) data base  maintenance charges, hardware and                                                               
software  for  call taking  equipment  as  well  as many  of  the                                                               
addressing  responsibilities.     Mr.   Gibbs  said   [the  Kenai                                                               
Peninsula Borough] would  be more supportive of  the language [on                                                               
page  2, lines  18-20] if  the  basic costs  could be  separated,                                                               
addressed  first, and  the remaining  revenue be  divided amongst                                                               
the  cities.   He  characterized the  aforementioned  as a  local                                                               
decision.  In  conclusion, Mr. Gibbs encouraged  the committee to                                                               
keep working on this legislation.                                                                                               
8:41:00 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  asked if  the Kenai Peninsula  Borough has                                                               
adequate 911 location abilities.                                                                                                
MR. GIBBS  answered that it's the  case for wire lines,  but [the                                                               
borough] hasn't  been able  to afford  the technology  that would                                                               
enable it to  implement Phase I and II enhanced  911 for wireless                                                               
8:42:01 AM                                                                                                                    
CHUCK  KOPP,  Chair, Alaska  Chapter  of  the National  Emergency                                                               
Number Association (NENA); Chief,  Kenai Police Department, noted                                                               
his  support of  HB 249  because the  $2.00 surcharge  allows for                                                               
program  expenditure and  access  to technology.   Most  agencies                                                               
providing 911  program budget estimates  haven't factored  in the                                                               
cost  of wireless  911  or amended  the  agreements necessary  to                                                               
maintain  ALI databases.    With regard  to  the revenue  sharing                                                               
language, it's good language in  that boroughs and municipalities                                                               
can work on  an individual program to determine  the specifics of                                                               
the program.                                                                                                                    
8:44:44 AM                                                                                                                    
TIM ROGERS, Alaska  Municipal League, testified in  support of HB
249, which  he characterized  as a fair  compromise.   Mr. Rogers                                                               
highlighted that HB 249 doesn't  make local governments whole for                                                               
the cost of  operating an enhanced 911 system.   Furthermore, the                                                               
legislation doesn't  expand the services for  which the surcharge                                                               
can  be  used.   The  surcharge  may  only  be  used to  pay  for                                                               
equipment and  operation costs of  an enhanced 911  public safety                                                               
answering point  (PSAP), as defined  in statute.  He  pointed out                                                               
that the surcharge  can't be used to pay for  ambulances or other                                                               
dispatch  services,  only  enhanced  911  services  as  currently                                                               
defined in  the law.   Mr.  Rogers also  highlighted that  HB 249                                                               
does help offset the loss  of revenues previously provided by the                                                               
state.   As mentioned earlier,  HB 249  doesn't assess a  fee for                                                               
those who don't receive enhanced  911 services in rural areas and                                                               
may  only  be  implemented  if the  local  municipality  provides                                                               
enhanced 911  service.   Mr. Rogers  informed the  committee that                                                               
Nome  is assessing  an  enhanced  911 surcharge  of  $.75 and  is                                                               
utilizing  that  surcharge  to  help  acquire  the  equipment  to                                                               
provide enhanced 911 services.                                                                                                  
8:47:29 AM                                                                                                                    
ROB   HEUN,  Deputy   Chief   Administration,  Anchorage   Police                                                               
Department, Municipality  of Anchorage,  testified in  support of                                                               
HB 249.   Although he  didn't believe that Anchorage  would reach                                                               
the $2.00  surcharge for  some time, he  said that  Anchorage has                                                               
experienced how expensive testing  and implementation of enhanced                                                               
911 services is.   For example, the cost of  the address database                                                               
maintenance,  which reconciles  location with  telephone numbers,                                                               
has increased  four-fold since  the project  began.   He informed                                                               
the committee that currently 51  percent of [Anchorage's] 250,000                                                               
911 calls per year are  wireless calls.  Therefore, the increased                                                               
mapping capabilities  for cell phone  callers being  developed is                                                               
significant.  This is a  public safety issue, which will generate                                                               
costs.   As  a  manager of  first responders,  he  said it's  his                                                               
responsibility to  justify those  costs to the  local government.                                                               
In conclusion,  Mr. Heun opined  that when  there is a  911 call,                                                               
the desire  is to have  a first responder arrive  efficiently and                                                               
8:49:28 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  inquired as to  how the current  911 calls                                                               
received from cell phones are located.                                                                                          
MR. HEUN  said that currently  [the technology] can't  locate the                                                               
location of a  911 call from a cell phone.   However, there would                                                               
be an  attempt to call back  the caller because there  would be a                                                               
call-back  number.   Mr.  Heun informed  the  committee that  the                                                               
[cell phone] industry  is moving toward placing  locator chips in                                                               
cell  phones and  the [dispatch  center] technology  has to  move                                                               
forward as  well.   He specified that  the location  ability will                                                               
only occur when 911 is dialed.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  opined that  the cart  seems to  be placed                                                               
before the  horse with  HB 249.   He  questioned how  many people                                                               
have cell phones with GPS capabilities.                                                                                         
MR. HEUN  related his  understanding that  the industry  has said                                                               
the market is there for  cell phones with [locator capabilities].                                                               
In fact,  Alaska Communications  Systems is making  great strides                                                               
to market cell phones with enhanced 911 capabilities.                                                                           
8:51:48 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HAWKER explained,  in  regard  to the  technology                                                               
that may  be implemented to  identify the location of  cell phone                                                               
users, that one device is  a locator chip in individual headsets.                                                               
However, alternate  technology using triangulation  from multiple                                                               
cell phone towers is also being developed.                                                                                      
MR. HEUN interjected that the  FCC has mandated that the industry                                                               
has to market  cell phones that are Phase II  [compliant and thus                                                               
will have the ability to locate 911 calls from cell phones].                                                                    
8:52:51 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN asked  if the  FCC [regulations]  have any                                                               
language  regarding  keeping the  location  of  cell phone  users                                                               
private [when not calling 911].                                                                                                 
MR. HEUN  clarified that the  GPS is  only activated when  911 is                                                               
8:53:49 AM                                                                                                                    
BILL DOLITTLE,  Project Manager for 911  Program, Municipality of                                                               
Anchorage,  opined that  everyone  loves cell  phones, which  has                                                               
dramatically impacted emergency  response services.  Effectively,                                                               
there has been  an erosion in the capability  of first responders                                                               
to  find those  in  need.   The  FCC has  spent  nearly a  decade                                                               
addressing the  aforementioned and  have defined  Phase I  and II                                                               
wireless capability.   He noted  that there are costs  on various                                                               
sides of  the technology.   The  carriers are  working diligently                                                               
because they  are mandated by the  FCC to transition to  this new                                                               
technology.  In fact, a recent  FCC ruling for waivers of smaller                                                               
carriers in  rural areas didn't provide  much of a waiver  at all                                                               
but rather found  a higher need for  wireless location capability                                                               
in rural areas.  He recalled  a recent conference in which a U.S.                                                               
Coast Guard  representative specified  that nearly 50  percent of                                                               
the  calls  it receives  for  assistance  come from  cell  phones                                                               
rather than VHF  radio.  Furthermore, there is a  net increase in                                                               
calls  for  an  incident,  which  is  an  operational  impact  on                                                               
dispatch centers that have to answer each call.                                                                                 
MR. DOLITTLE turned to the  program costs, and explained that the                                                               
absolute value of the surcharge is  based on the program costs of                                                               
each  jurisdiction.   Some  of  the program  costs  are based  on                                                               
areawide  costs, which  need to  be  paid for  regardless of  the                                                               
community, as  well as  PSAP specific costs.   For  example, when                                                               
Anchorage implemented  the 911 upgrade  and pursued  the wireless                                                               
initiative, the  municipality's costs went from  an approximately                                                               
$300,000 contract  to an over  $1 million contract  for services.                                                               
Furthermore, the database management  costs have increased, which                                                               
leads  to  the base  of  the  surcharge.   The  telephone  number                                                               
integrator will be  paid $.21 a record regardless of  the type of                                                               
record, and it's impossible to  reasonably aggregate those costs.                                                               
He reiterated that [the municipality]  will pay $.21 a record for                                                               
every  telephone number  to  be  included in  the  database.   He                                                               
explained that  the allocation  of surcharges  by access  line is                                                               
based on about 40 years  of national experience with 911 programs                                                               
and [the current system] has been  found to be a way to equitably                                                               
allocate those costs.                                                                                                           
8:58:00 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  asked if  the aforementioned  $0.21 covers                                                               
the  current  costs  [of  the  Municipality  of  Anchorage's  911                                                               
MR. DOOLITTLE replied no, and  clarified that the ALI database is                                                               
just a component of the cost of  the program.  He noted that in a                                                               
white paper published  last year about 20-30  different costs for                                                               
the startup and maintenance of the program were identified.                                                                     
8:58:40 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  if  the  references  to  "wireless                                                               
telephones"  only means  "cell phones"  or does  it include  "SAT                                                               
phones" as well.                                                                                                                
MR. DOLITTLE answered  that the costs for which  the surcharge is                                                               
being collected  would be the  costs for wire lines  and wireless                                                               
lines for billing addresses  within that jurisdiction's boundary.                                                               
He informed the committee that  the FCC has a separate proceeding                                                               
for SAT  phones.   The FCC's  most recent  directive is  that the                                                               
satellite  companies  had to  provide  a  911 call-taking  center                                                               
because of the difficulty in locating SAT phones on the planet.                                                                 
9:00:14 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  inquired as  to the sponsor's  thoughts on                                                               
amending  the  legislation  such   that  [the  surcharge]  didn't                                                               
include lines that aren't phones.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  HAWKER  reiterated  earlier  testimony  that  the                                                               
costs associated  with implementing a [911]  system are generated                                                               
by the existence of the  individual.  Therefore, he expressed the                                                               
need  to  consider  matching  the costs  and  expenses  with  the                                                               
proposal.   Furthermore, there is technology  that combines voice                                                               
and fax  systems.  He opined  that it would be  very difficult to                                                               
enforce and determine  which lines are actually phone  lines.  To                                                               
accomplish the aforementioned  and place it in  statute, it would                                                               
require  disclosure, which  results  in  an invasive  government.                                                               
Therefore, using  the broadest  base of  lines would  provide the                                                               
ability  to   maintain  a  minimal  cost   per  individual  line.                                                               
Although  business and  industry would  bear a  large cost  where                                                               
there  are a  number  of lines  that would  be  impacted by  this                                                               
proposal, the benefit outweighs the  cost, he opined.  Therefore,                                                               
Representative    Hawker   hesitated    to   go    forward   with                                                               
Representative Neuman's suggestion.                                                                                             
9:03:59 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  asked if the  sponsor has spoken  with any                                                               
businesses with multiple lines.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER  replied yes, over  the course of  the last                                                               
two  years.   He  recalled  that  [last  year] the  industry  was                                                               
concerned  with the  unlimited surcharge  in former  legislation.                                                               
However,  the problem  has been  addressed by  including language                                                               
that specifically limits the application  of the funds to enhance                                                               
the  911 systems  and implementing  a $2.00  cap, which  provides                                                               
assurance to  the business community that  this legislation could                                                               
not be  used by a  community as  a surcharge over  it's corporate                                                               
9:05:27 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR THOMAS closed public testimony.                                                                                        
9:05:33 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA pointed  out  that Alaska  is  one of  the                                                               
leaders  in accidental  death and  injury because  of the  remote                                                               
nature of  things in Alaska.   She highlighted the  importance of                                                               
locating people  and doing so in  a timely fashion.   She alluded                                                               
that  GPS  in  cell  phones could  be  beneficial  for  emergency                                                               
situations because  every moment  is critical.   She  opined that                                                               
the cell phones would still have autonomy until 911 is dialed.                                                                  
9:08:03 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN highlighted  that emergency locator beacons                                                               
could also  be used which  are cheaper  than GPS mechanisms.   He                                                               
expressed  concern   with  the  $2.00  surcharge   on  each  line                                                               
including  faxes  and  Internet,  especially  in  locations  with                                                               
multiple  lines, because  there's  a  potential to  significantly                                                               
increase monthly phone  bills.  He opined  that large businesses,                                                               
including the state, have thousands  of lines so this legislation                                                               
is problematic.                                                                                                                 
9:10:27 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR THOMAS commented that commercial  fishermen could have a                                                               
greater chance  at survival if  they have cell phones  [with GPS]                                                               
that verify their exact lactation.   This is a way to save lives,                                                               
he said.                                                                                                                        
9:11:34 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA related  that currently  Anchorage charges                                                               
$0.75 and it may not charge $2.00 for quite some time.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN replied  that [municipalities] wouldn't ask                                                               
for the [surcharge] if they didn't want it.                                                                                     
9:12:07 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JIM HOLM, Alaska  State Legislature, sponsor of HB
74, related this  legislation does have potential for  abuse.  He                                                               
relayed that the city of Fairbanks  covers $4.5 million a year to                                                               
provide service  to all the  outlying boroughs.  He  offered that                                                               
businesses with multiple lines pay  extra, however, the surcharge                                                               
is  an  insignificant expenditure  in  the  event that  it  saves                                                               
lives.    He  opined  that the  legislature  never  set  policies                                                               
implementing the cost of local  services, and therefore statewide                                                               
policy  makers  should not  set  limits  [or  a  cap] on  what  a                                                               
business  [charges   for]  services  rendered.     He  urged  the                                                               
committee to support HB 249.                                                                                                    
9:14:41 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER stated that  this legislation is needed for                                                               
the purposes  of providing responsible public  safety services in                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  said that  he doesn't object  to enhancing                                                               
911 services,  but he has  a problem with imposing  the surcharge                                                               
to fax  and Internet lines.   He opined  that a company  with 100                                                               
employees  would have  a phone  bill of  approximately [$2,00]  a                                                               
9:16:05 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  OLSON moved  to  report  CSHB 249,  Version  G, out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.   There  being  no  objection, CSHB  249(CRA)  was                                                               
reported from  the House Community and  Regional Affairs Standing                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects