Legislature(2017 - 2018)ADAMS ROOM 519

04/16/2018 09:00 AM House FINANCE

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09:08:15 AM Start
09:09:05 AM SB215
09:58:42 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to a Call of the Chair --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Public Testimony --
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      April 16, 2018                                                                                            
                         9:08 a.m.                                                                                              
9:08:15 AM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Foster called the House Finance Committee meeting                                                                      
to order at 9:08 a.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Paul Seaton, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Les Gara, Vice-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Jason Grenn                                                                                                      
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Senator John Coghill, Sponsor; Jordan Shilling, Staff,                                                                          
Senator John Coghill.                                                                                                           
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
David Gibbs, EMS Manager, Fairbanks North Star Borough;                                                                         
Jill Dolan, Attorney, Fairbanks North Star Borough.                                                                             
HB 260    FISH & GAME LICENSES;ELECTRONIC FORM                                                                                  
          HB 260 was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                                   
CSSB 92(FIN)am                                                                                                                  
          VESSELS: REGISTRATION/TITLES; DERELICTS                                                                               
          CSSB 92(FIN)am was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                           
SB 215    ENHANCED 911:MULTI-LINE TELEPHONE SYSTEMS                                                                             
          SB 215 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster reviewed the meeting agenda.                                                                                    
SENATE BILL NO. 215                                                                                                           
    "An Act relating to multi-line telephone systems."                                                                          
9:09:05 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster  reviewed his intent  for the  bill hearing.                                                                    
He reported that  the bill was the companion bill  to HB 385                                                                    
sponsored by Representative Grenn.                                                                                              
SENATOR  JOHN COGHILL,  SPONSOR,  shared that  the bill  had                                                                    
been  brought to  him  by his  municipality  and dealt  with                                                                    
multi-line telephone  systems. He used the  University as an                                                                    
example in the Interior where  someone calling 911 may be in                                                                    
a different  building than the emergency  location. The bill                                                                    
directed that  the information would travel  with the phone;                                                                    
it  was a  requirement, but  also permissive.  He elaborated                                                                    
that  the   bill  would   require  the   automatic  location                                                                    
information be  installed when phones were  replaced, or new                                                                    
installations were  put in.  He explained  the bill  was one                                                                    
way   to  ensure   dispatchers  would   receive  the   right                                                                    
information,  which could  save  lives.  He expounded  there                                                                    
were many  buildings in the state  with multi-line telephone                                                                    
systems. The two  things a person expected  when calling 911                                                                    
was that the  responders would show up and would  show up to                                                                    
the right location. The bill  provided a way to ensure those                                                                    
things happened  with a multi-line telephone  system with an                                                                    
attached automatic location information system.                                                                                 
Senator Coghill elaborated that  the bill also implemented a                                                                    
requirement for places with  multi-line telephone systems to                                                                    
put a  notice on  their phone that  dialing "9"  or anything                                                                    
else was required before dialing out.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  JASON GRENN  elaborated  that  the bill  was                                                                    
about  public  safety. The  bill  aimed  to save  time  when                                                                    
responders were sent out to emergency situations.                                                                               
Co-Chair Foster noted individuals available for questions.                                                                      
Representative Wilson stated that  multi-lines were not only                                                                    
for big buildings.  She asked how far down  into the private                                                                    
business  world  the  bill requirement  would  go  to  force                                                                    
businesses to comply  when making an upgrade  or change. She                                                                    
initially thought the bill applied  to hotels; however, many                                                                    
small businesses  also had  multi-line phones.  She wondered                                                                    
whether the  size of  the business or  the number  of phones                                                                    
mattered and whether it included businesses with one multi-                                                                     
line  phone.  She  questioned whether  businesses  would  be                                                                    
forced into something more expensive.                                                                                           
Senator Coghill deferred the question to his staff.                                                                             
JORDAN SHILLING,  STAFF, SENATOR JOHN COGHILL,  replied that                                                                    
the bill  did not stipulate  the size;  the size could  be a                                                                    
small  or large  multi-line  telephone  system. He  reported                                                                    
that most residences  and small businesses had  one line and                                                                    
multiple telephones, which would  not be considered a multi-                                                                    
line telephone  system. The bill  language was  broad enough                                                                    
that would allow a municipality  to limit the application of                                                                    
the  ordinance  to   a  certain  number  of   lines  if  the                                                                    
municipality chose to adopt an  ordinance. He believed there                                                                    
had been  committee discussion  on the  topic the  last time                                                                    
the bill had been heard.                                                                                                        
9:14:48 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson asked whether  it was even possible to                                                                    
get a new system that did not include a 911 enhancement.                                                                        
Mr. Shilling  replied that most  systems sold  currently did                                                                    
conform with  the requirements the  bill sought  to achieve.                                                                    
By 2020, all  the phones would have  capability to eliminate                                                                    
dialing any prefix "9" when  dialing 911. He deferred to Mr.                                                                    
David Gibbs [EMS Manager, Fairbanks  North Star Borough] for                                                                    
any future technical phone questions.                                                                                           
Representative Wilson  had a problem  with the  bill because                                                                    
she  had an  antique  business with  multi-lines (two  phone                                                                    
numbers).  She did  not know  what it  would cost  to change                                                                    
phone carriers.  She noted that  some carriers  required the                                                                    
customer to get  new phones. She wondered  why another power                                                                    
was being given  to the boroughs if technology  was going to                                                                    
get there anyway. She lamented  the unknown possible cost to                                                                    
private businesses.                                                                                                             
Representative Grenn deferred to Mr. Gibbs.                                                                                     
DAVID GIBBS, EMS MANAGER, FAIRBANKS  NORTH STAR BOROUGH (via                                                                    
teleconference),  answered that  generally small  businesses                                                                    
utilized key  telephone systems, which would  be affected by                                                                    
the legislation.  He described a  key telephone system  as a                                                                    
system with  a series  of buttons showing  numerous outbound                                                                    
lines.  Each of  the phones  was connected  directly to  the                                                                    
telephone   company's   switch.    Typically,   a   business                                                                    
subscribed  to the  service. He  detailed  that the  address                                                                    
information  and  changes  were   maintained  by  the  phone                                                                    
company.  The maintenance  costs were  already bundled  into                                                                    
the  cost  of  the  telephone system.  There  should  be  no                                                                    
additional cost; the only cost would  be the time spent by a                                                                    
customer  working  with  their  phone  service  provider  to                                                                    
ensure the correct location  information was associated with                                                                    
the phone number.                                                                                                               
9:18:26 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson believed Mr.  Gibbs had described that                                                                    
the work  was already done.  She wondered about  the purpose                                                                    
of the bill.                                                                                                                    
Mr. Gibbs  answered that the  work was not already  done. He                                                                    
explained  that  part  of  the problem  was  the  number  of                                                                    
erroneous  addresses. The  bill  would ensure  the work  was                                                                    
Vice-Chair   Gara   supported   the  bill.   He   referenced                                                                    
Representative  Wilson's  question  and spoke  about  phones                                                                    
that were  not compatible.  He surmised  that the  fact some                                                                    
phones  lines   would  not  be   compatible  did   not  mean                                                                    
improvement  would  not  be  made   with  phones  that  were                                                                    
compatible at the outset.                                                                                                       
Mr.  Shilling  answered  that  the   bill  did  not  require                                                                    
existing multi-line  telephone systems to upgrade.  The bill                                                                    
only applied  to upgrades  and new-builds  beginning January                                                                    
1, 2019.                                                                                                                        
Vice-Chair  Gara  surmised  that  the bill  would  work  for                                                                    
buildings with phone lines.                                                                                                     
Mr. Shilling asked for clarification.                                                                                           
Vice-Chair Gara withdrew his question.                                                                                          
9:20:05 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg asked  for verification  that the                                                                    
bill did  not apply  to situations where  a person  bought a                                                                    
box of six  phones. He wondered whether the  bill applied to                                                                    
situations  where   a  phone  system  was   installed  by  a                                                                    
professional  versus  phones  purchased off  the  shelf.  He                                                                    
believed  part  of  the  professional  installation  process                                                                    
would be  putting in each  phone number and location  at the                                                                    
phone company or a central  location. He used the University                                                                    
of  Alaska   (University)  and  the   Anchorage  Legislative                                                                    
Information  Office as  examples  and  considered where  the                                                                    
phone numbers were registered.                                                                                                  
Mr.  Shilling pointed  out a  document  in members'  packets                                                                    
that  included   FAQs  on  what  constituted   a  multi-line                                                                    
telephone  system  [provided  by the  Fairbanks  North  Star                                                                    
Borough]  (copy  on file).  He  deferred  to Mr.  Gibbs  for                                                                    
further detail.                                                                                                                 
Mr. Gibbs  answered that it was  not the type of  phone, but                                                                    
the nature of the class  of service being employed. He cited                                                                    
the University as an example  of a large PBX [Private Branch                                                                    
Exchange Telephone System] operator.  He elaborated that the                                                                    
University owned  the switch and  much of  the functionality                                                                    
of its  phone system such  as station to station  dialing on                                                                    
campus  was hosted  by the  University.  For example,  there                                                                    
were  6,900 telephone  numbers for  a single  street address                                                                    
(1054   University   Avenue)   -  no   additional   location                                                                    
information was  associated with the numbers.  He referenced                                                                    
the  small "mom  and  pop" telephone  system  signed up  for                                                                    
service with six lines -  it ensured the address information                                                                    
provided  to the  provider was  accurate  and reflected  the                                                                    
granularity  of the  location  information  required by  the                                                                    
legislation. He stated  that there was no  additional cost -                                                                    
the maintenance and address information  cost was bundled in                                                                    
the cost of the service. The  idea was to ensure the correct                                                                    
information  was  passed  along  to  the  telephone  service                                                                    
provider and  that the provider updated  address information                                                                    
as part  of their daily  automated updates. He  relayed that                                                                    
the  borough  conducted daily  updates  with  its two  local                                                                    
exchange carriers.                                                                                                              
9:23:44 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Guttenberg stated that  the bill would give a                                                                    
municipality  the  ability  to require  the  enhancement  by                                                                    
ordinance. He asked how it  related to the university system                                                                    
or other state buildings.  He asked whether the municipality                                                                    
had   telecommunication   power.   He  asked   whether   the                                                                    
Regulatory  Commission of  Alaska (RCA)  had the  ability to                                                                    
regulate telephone  systems. He  noted he was  supportive of                                                                    
the bill.                                                                                                                       
Mr. Shilling  answered that the  bill applied to  all multi-                                                                    
line  telephone   system  operators  in   the  municipality;                                                                    
therefore, it would apply to  the University. He deferred to                                                                    
the Jill Dolan  to address powers of  a second-class borough                                                                    
such as Fairbanks.                                                                                                              
JILL  DOLAN, ATTORNEY,  FAIRBANKS  NORTH  STAR BOROUGH  (via                                                                    
teleconference),    answered    that    it   was    not    a                                                                    
telecommunications  power the  borough would  be exercising,                                                                    
but the E-911 power granted  through Title 29. She explained                                                                    
the  regulation  would  apply to  E-911  system  users,  not                                                                    
carriers. She  clarified it was the  distinction between the                                                                    
RCA  authority (over  the system  providers)  and the  E-911                                                                    
system  that   the  borough   had  been   granted  statutory                                                                    
authority over.                                                                                                                 
Representative Guttenberg  restated that they  had authority                                                                    
over 911. Ms. Dolan answered in the affirmative.                                                                                
Representative   Wilson   asked  whether   the   legislation                                                                    
impacted  [military]  bases  in Alaska.  Alternatively,  she                                                                    
asked  whether the  federal government  was exempt  from the                                                                    
Ms. Dolan answered that military  bases had their own public                                                                    
safety answering points for their  system. She detailed that                                                                    
the residential  commercial customers on the  base were part                                                                    
of the borough's E-911 system.                                                                                                  
Representative  Wilson asked  whether the  bases would  fall                                                                    
under  the bill  requirements  if the  military made  [phone                                                                    
system] upgrades.                                                                                                               
Ms. Dolan  answered that the  military facilities  would not                                                                    
fall under the bill requirements.  She deferred to Mr. Gibbs                                                                    
for further detail pertaining to the system technology.                                                                         
Representative  Wilson clarified  that  she  was not  asking                                                                    
about  the  technology. She  wanted  to  know who  would  be                                                                    
impacted  by  the  bill   requirements.  She  surmised  that                                                                    
private  housing [on  bases] did  not  have multi-lines  and                                                                    
would not be  impacted by the bill. She  wondered whether an                                                                    
ordinance made by  the borough would apply  to the buildings                                                                    
on the Fort  Wainwright Military Base and  Eielson Air Force                                                                    
9:27:05 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Dolan  answered  that  Eielson  was  not  part  of  the                                                                    
borough's E-911  service area, but Fort  Wainwright was. She                                                                    
detailed that the Fort Wainwright  buildings were not routed                                                                    
through  the borough's  public safety  answering point.  The                                                                    
borough  worked with  Fort Wainwright,  but  the calls  were                                                                    
answered  on the  base;  therefore, the  base  would not  be                                                                    
impacted by the bill.                                                                                                           
Co-Chair Foster OPENED and CLOSED public testimony.                                                                             
9:28:24 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Tilton  MOVED  to  ADOPT  Amendment  1,  30-                                                                    
LS1455\D.1 (Nauman, 4/11/18) (copy on file):                                                                                    
     Page 1, line 1, following "systems":                                                                                     
     Insert 11; and relating to  the use of the enhanced 911                                                                  
     surcharge revenue"                                                                                                       
     Page 1. following line 2:                                                                                                  
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
    "* Section 1. AS 29.35.13 l(i) is amended to read:                                                                        
     (i)  A  municipality  may only  use  the  enhanced  911                                                                    
     surcharge revenue  for those costs of  the enhanced 911                                                                    
     system  that are  authorized  in  this subsection.  The                                                                    
     surcharge revenue  may not be  used for any  capital or                                                                    
     operational  costs for  emergency responses  that occur                                                                    
     after  the   call  is   dispatched  to   the  emergency                                                                    
     responder. The  surcharge revenue  may not be  used for                                                                    
     constructing buildings,  leasing buildings, maintaining                                                                    
     buildings,  or  renovating  buildings, except  for  the                                                                    
     modification  of an  existing  building  to the  extent                                                                    
     that  is   necessary  to  maintain  the   security  and                                                                    
     environmental integrity of  the public safety answering                                                                    
     point and  equipment rooms.  The surcharge  revenue may                                                                    
     be  used for  the  following costs  to  the extent  the                                                                    
     costs are  directly attributable to  the establishment,                                                                    
     maintenance, and operation of an enhanced 911 system:                                                                      
     (1)  the acquisition,  implementation, and  maintenance                                                                    
     of  public safety  answering  point  equipment and  911                                                                    
     service features;                                                                                                          
     (2) the  acquisition, installation, and  maintenance of                                                                    
     other  equipment, including  call answering  equipment,                                                                    
     call     transfer    equipment,     automatic    number                                                                    
     identification  controllers   and  displays,  automatic                                                                    
     location   identification  controllers   and  displays.                                                                    
     station  instruments,  911 telecommunications  systems,                                                                    
     teleprinters,   logging  recorders,   instant  playback                                                                    
     recorders,  telephone  devices  for  the  deaf.  public                                                                    
     safety answering point  backup power systems, consoles,                                                                    
     automatic call distributors,  and hardware and software                                                                    
     interfaces for computer-aided dispatch systems;                                                                            
     (3) the  salaries and associated expenses  for 911 call                                                                    
     takers  [FOR  THAT PORTION  OF  TIME  SPENT TAKING  AND                                                                    
     TRANSFERRING 911 CALLS];                                                                                                   
     (4) training  costs for  public safety  answering point                                                                    
     call takers  in the proper methods  and techniques used                                                                    
     in taking and transferring 911 calls;                                                                                      
     (5)  expenses  required  to develop  and  maintain  all                                                                    
     information  necessary to  properly inform  call takers                                                                    
     as to  location address,  type of emergency,  and other                                                                    
     information  directly relevant  to the  911 call-taking                                                                    
     and   transferring    function,   including   automatic                                                                    
     location    identification    and   automatic    number                                                                    
     identification databases."                                                                                                 
     Page 1, line 3:                                                                                                            
     Delete "Section 1"                                                                                                       
     Insert "Sec.2"                                                                                                           
     Renumber the following bill section accordingly.                                                                           
Representative Guttenberg OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                              
Representative  Tilton explained  the  amendment. She  noted                                                                    
that in the  previous session she had brought  forward an E-                                                                    
911  bill at  the request  of the  Mat-Su Borough;  however,                                                                    
after  the   bill's  introduction  the   borough's  attorney                                                                    
thought they  had come up with  a way to work  the situation                                                                    
out.  She appreciated  the willingness  of the  sponsors for                                                                    
her to offer  the amendment. She referenced Page  2, lines 3                                                                    
through  5, that  would allow  municipalities  to use  E-911                                                                    
revenue for any  portion of the salaries of  the call taker.                                                                    
She explained  that the Mat-Su  Borough had  contracted with                                                                    
the City of Wasilla for  E-911 services and unlike the other                                                                    
municipalities  they were  in a  unique situation  where the                                                                    
person  answering the  phone was  also  the dispatcher.  She                                                                    
expounded that  typically an  incoming call  was transferred                                                                    
to a  dispatcher; however, in  Mat-Su the person  taking the                                                                    
call and acting  as dispatcher meant they  could be required                                                                    
to remain on  the phone longer while  responders reached the                                                                    
destination.  The amendment  would  allow the  cost for  the                                                                    
entire call  to go to  E-911 charges.  She had no  intent to                                                                    
alter  what E-911  funds were  used for.  She noted  she had                                                                    
discussed the bill with service providers.                                                                                      
9:30:54 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Guttenberg   pointed    to   the   numbered                                                                    
subsections  in the  amendment  and  asked for  verification                                                                    
they were  not listed  in priority order  [in terms  of what                                                                    
surcharge revenue may be used for].                                                                                             
Representative  Tilton  answered   that  the  list  mirrored                                                                    
existing statute. She explained that  the only change was to                                                                    
number 3.                                                                                                                       
Representative  Guttenberg  asked whether  existing  statute                                                                    
included  any  restrictions  or  limitations  on  how  E-911                                                                    
surcharges could be spent.                                                                                                      
Ms. Dolan answered  that the amendment would  broaden one of                                                                    
the restrictions. She clarified that  the list [shown in the                                                                    
amendment taken  from current  statute] showed  what revenue                                                                    
could be used for and was not in priority order.                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki noted  that the  City of  Fairbanks                                                                    
had a  911 dispatch center  used by the entire  borough, and                                                                    
beyond.  He stated  that a  person residing  outside of  the                                                                    
city limits  would have the  E-911 surcharge paid.  He asked                                                                    
for verification  that the  staff would  be city  staff even                                                                    
when the caller lived outside of the city.                                                                                      
Representative Tilton  answered that  the amendment  did not                                                                    
look  to   increase  surcharges.  She  clarified   that  the                                                                    
amendment  would mean  E-911  would cover  the  cost of  the                                                                    
salaries   of   workers   functioning   as   operators   and                                                                    
dispatchers for the service.                                                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki  noted that the E-911  surcharge may                                                                    
be  used  to pay  for  city  staff,  even though  the  E-911                                                                    
surcharge may  be associated with a  person residing outside                                                                    
city limits.                                                                                                                    
Representative  Tilton replied  that Mat-Su  contracted with                                                                    
Wasilla,  Palmer,  and  the  state.  She  detailed  that  in                                                                    
typical  dispatch  centers a  call  was  transferred to  the                                                                    
appropriate  public safety  agency. However,  in Mat-Su  the                                                                    
operator answering the call was  also the dispatcher and may                                                                    
stay on  the line  until the  public safety  officer reached                                                                    
the  emergency destination.  The amendment  would allow  the                                                                    
service to be covered under E-911 surcharges.                                                                                   
9:34:49 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Kawasaki   clarified   his   question.   He                                                                    
explained that the amendment [item  3] pertained to salaries                                                                    
and associated expenses. He  elaborated that approximately a                                                                    
dozen  dispatchers  in  the  City  of  Fairbanks  were  city                                                                    
employees. He  wondered whether  the E-911  surcharges would                                                                    
go  to pay  a city  employee when  the caller  utilizing the                                                                    
service lived outside the city limits.                                                                                          
Representative  Tilton noted  that the  call was  also going                                                                    
through  the dispatch  center, so  the  individual would  be                                                                    
receiving the service.                                                                                                          
Representative  Kawasaki stated  that  the existing  wording                                                                    
specified the  associated expenses  for the portion  of time                                                                    
spent  for the  E-911 person.  Whereas, the  amendment meant                                                                    
the taxes  received outside  of a borough  could be  used to                                                                    
pay for a  city employee. He asked if  his understanding was                                                                    
Ms. Dolan  answered that the  concern was probably  valid in                                                                    
the Fairbanks Borough. She explained  that most of the E-911                                                                    
service  area  was  the  borough   outside  the  city.  They                                                                    
contracted  with the  City  of Fairbanks  for  the 911  call                                                                    
taking portion.  A workload analysis was  conducted, and the                                                                    
work  equated   to  approximately  four  positions   at  the                                                                    
Fairbanks  Emergency  Communications  Center  answering  911                                                                    
calls  and   paid  with  surcharge  revenue.   The  analysis                                                                    
pertained  to   the  scenario  provided   by  Representative                                                                    
Kawasaki.  She  elaborated  that  after  the  911  call  was                                                                    
complete, for  example, once  the dispatch  was made  to the                                                                    
fire department,  the fire department  had its  own contract                                                                    
for  the dispatch  services  that  continued. She  explained                                                                    
that  if they  paid for  all the  dispatch positions  at the                                                                    
city, the E-911 surcharge revenue  would be used to dispatch                                                                    
police or  fire calls, which  was not a service  provided to                                                                    
every user paying E-911 surcharge revenue.                                                                                      
9:37:26 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki stated that  the amendment would use                                                                    
the surcharge to  pay for more of the  dispatcher's time. He                                                                    
explained that  if he resided  in the borough as  opposed to                                                                    
the City of  Fairbanks he would be upset.  He reiterated the                                                                    
amendment was a policy call.                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Gara stated that the  amendment would broaden the                                                                    
cost the  surcharge could be used  for to all the  work done                                                                    
by individuals  taking 911 calls  instead of the  portion of                                                                    
the work  related to taking  and transferring 911  calls. He                                                                    
stated  that   more  money  from  the   surcharge  would  be                                                                    
available  for  911  call takers  under  the  amendment.  He                                                                    
wondered  whether it  would spread  the surcharge  funds too                                                                    
thin or have any other negative impacts.                                                                                        
Senator  Coghill   answered  that  he  had   been  generally                                                                    
supportive  of the  amendment, primarily  pertaining to  the                                                                    
situation in Mat-Su. However, he  did not know the answer to                                                                    
some  of  the  questions  that   had  arisen.  He  had  been                                                                    
supportive  of the  amendment because  the 911  service call                                                                    
providers generally were using a  broad area anyway and were                                                                    
needed when  it came  to cell phone  issues where  they were                                                                    
typically the  provider of the  service. For  example, North                                                                    
Pole contracted  with Fairbanks.  He reiterated that  he did                                                                    
not  know the  answer  to  some of  the  questions that  had                                                                    
arisen, but  generally, he had  communicated to  the sponsor                                                                    
that he was amenable to the amendment.                                                                                          
9:39:49 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Ortiz  spoke about a concern  he had received                                                                    
via email from  a public utility constituent  who dealt with                                                                    
911  services. He  quoted  from the  email:  "it appears  to                                                                    
allow various  entities in the  state to begin  drawing down                                                                    
additional funds from an already  limited 911 funding pool."                                                                    
He asked  whether this interpretation  of the  amendment was                                                                    
Representative  Tilton  addressed  the unique  situation  in                                                                    
Mat-Su where  the operator  was acting  as a  dispatcher and                                                                    
call taker. The amendment  allowed the [dispatch] portion to                                                                    
be covered  but did  not require it.  She elaborated  it was                                                                    
not about  who was  making the  call, it  was about  who was                                                                    
taking the call. The system  was boroughwide but operated by                                                                    
9:41:30 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:44:38 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Tilton  explained that the money  was already                                                                    
coming into  the Mat-Su Borough  and was held in  a separate                                                                    
pot. The  borough contracted  with the  City of  Wasilla and                                                                    
had the  money but was unable  to use the funds  without the                                                                    
Representative   Kawasaki  understood   the  situation   was                                                                    
similar  in the  City of  Fairbanks. He  explained that  the                                                                    
City of Fairbanks  had a dispatch center,  which the borough                                                                    
used  via  contract  for   areawide  dispatch  services.  He                                                                    
explained that currently the cost  coverage had been limited                                                                    
to  the  work  dealing  with the  911  issue.  Whereas,  the                                                                    
amendment  proposed the  salaries  for the  911 call  takers                                                                    
(dispatch center  employees) could  be reimbursed  under the                                                                    
E-911 fund.  He was  concerned about  other things  the fund                                                                    
was  used for  and if  the  amendment would  result in  cuts                                                                    
Mr.  Gibbs  asked  Representative  Kawasaki  to  repeat  the                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki  complied. He asked how  the borough                                                                    
utilized E-911 surcharge funds.                                                                                                 
Mr. Gibbs responded  that the borough provided  the 911 work                                                                    
stations,   the  network   connecting   the  public   safety                                                                    
answering  points,  street   addressing  for  911  purposes,                                                                    
support for  GIS [geographic  information system]  work that                                                                    
went into  911 mapping,  and labor to  answer the  911 calls                                                                    
(the  borough had  a  services agreement  with  the city  to                                                                    
provide labor).                                                                                                                 
9:47:22 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki  stated that the  question pertained                                                                    
to the  amendment. He noted  that currently a portion  of E-                                                                    
911 funds  went to  support call  takers. He  explained that                                                                    
the amendment proposed to delete  that portion and specified                                                                    
that  the fund  would pay  for the  salaries and  associated                                                                    
expenses  of 911  call takers.  The amendment  would mean  a                                                                    
dispatcher working for the City  of Fairbanks who was partly                                                                    
using the  E-911 surcharge for  transferring calls  would be                                                                    
allowed to  request E-911  surcharge funds  to be  taken. He                                                                    
wanted  to  know if  there  was  enough  E-911 money  to  go                                                                    
Mr.  Gibbs  responded that  the  negotiation  with the  city                                                                    
could  be contentious  when the  borough went  to renew  the                                                                    
services agreement  depending on  how much labor  costs were                                                                    
attributed to  the 911  program. The  issue would  depend on                                                                    
whether there was  enough funding. He explained  there was a                                                                    
little reserve  in the surcharge  assessed to  residents. He                                                                    
stated that the  surcharge could be increased,  but it would                                                                    
result  in a  tax  increase. He  elaborated  that a  lengthy                                                                    
negotiation and  time study had been  conducted to determine                                                                    
the level of effort to  support 911 call taking. He reported                                                                    
that  the  borough  had  been   fairly  satisfied  with  the                                                                    
resulting agreement.                                                                                                            
Representative Kawasaki  asked what  percentage of  time was                                                                    
used by  E-911 services  in the  current contract.  He asked                                                                    
for details on the contract.                                                                                                    
Mr.  Gibbs  replied  that the  borough  estimated  about  19                                                                    
percent  of the  time  went to  receiving  and handling  911                                                                    
calls. The  time had  been converted to  four or  five full-                                                                    
time  [positions]  and  the  borough  agreed  to  fund  five                                                                    
positions as needed to answer and transfer 911 calls.                                                                           
9:50:08 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Kawasaki  spoke  to  his  concern  that  the                                                                    
amendment would mean  paying for much more out  of the E-911                                                                    
funds.  He surmised  that it  could  mean paying  up to  100                                                                    
percent of the time as opposed to 19 percent.                                                                                   
Mr. Gibbs understood and reported  that every few months the                                                                    
issue  arose  where the  city  communicated  it wanted  more                                                                    
funds from the borough to support dispatch operations.                                                                          
Representative  Wilson  asked  whether  Mr.  Gibbs  had  the                                                                    
Mr. Gibbs answered in the affirmative.                                                                                          
Representative  Wilson   asked  whether  it  would   make  a                                                                    
difference  to narrow  the amendment  language to  "salaries                                                                    
and associated  expenses during the 911  call." She believed                                                                    
that was the goal of the amendment.                                                                                             
Mr.  Gibbs  answered that  when  the  borough had  done  the                                                                    
workload  calculation analysis  the  consideration had  been                                                                    
that  the  time  was  credited to  handling  911  calls.  He                                                                    
believed the existing statute was  clear about what time was                                                                    
eligible  for the  surcharge funding.  He  could not  really                                                                    
help with the additional language.                                                                                              
Representative   Wilson  asked   whether   call  takers   in                                                                    
Fairbanks were  ever required to  remain on the  phone until                                                                    
the   police  or   responders  arrived   at  the   emergency                                                                    
9:52:43 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Gibbs  answered that there  were regulars who  stayed on                                                                    
the line  with a caller  when needed. He explained  that the                                                                    
Alaska State Troopers were also on  the 911 network and if a                                                                    
call taker could not transfer  the call to the troopers they                                                                    
remained on the  line with the caller and  complete the call                                                                    
until  they could  reach the  troopers.  Similar action  was                                                                    
taken when  the borough  received wireless calls  needing to                                                                    
be  transferred  to  Fort  Wainwright.  He  elaborated  that                                                                    
sometimes the call takers at  Fort Wainwright were busy. The                                                                    
borough considered  it time handling  911 calls  and covered                                                                    
by the surcharge.                                                                                                               
Representative  Thompson surmised  that the  Fairbanks North                                                                    
Star Borough  and the City  of Fairbanks had worked  out the                                                                    
situation well by determining the  amount of time the city's                                                                    
dispatchers spent on  911 calls that were  spread across the                                                                    
borough. He thought  it meant they had figured  out the need                                                                    
for four  employees' salaries and  expenses. He  thought the                                                                    
Mat-Su Borough  needed to  work out  a similar  contract. He                                                                    
understood where  the issue  came from  if Mat-Su  agreed to                                                                    
pay a  flat fee  for each  911 call,  it would  restrict the                                                                    
amount of money they could  get from the borough. He thought                                                                    
many of the calls required the  call takers to remain on the                                                                    
line and he believed there  should be some way to compensate                                                                    
for  the time  a dispatcher  was on  the phone.  He reasoned                                                                    
that  a person  could  be on  the phone  for  45 minutes  to                                                                    
ensure an emergency  had been handled. He  understood that a                                                                    
flat fee for each call did  not cover the problem where call                                                                    
takers were  faced with  remaining on  the phone  for longer                                                                    
periods of time. He was in favor of the amendment.                                                                              
9:55:14 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Guttenberg  thought part  of the  problem was                                                                    
that  one  size  did  not  fit  all.  He  thought  that  the                                                                    
situation  had worked  out  in Fairbanks.  He  did not  know                                                                    
whether it  was a  negotiation problem between  the entities                                                                    
in  Mat-Su or  that the  911 fees  collected were  too high,                                                                    
which  resulted   in  extra  money  to   transfer  over.  He                                                                    
discussed existing statute and  reasoned that with living in                                                                    
the city  and the borough the  problem would be the  same if                                                                    
more  than  the cost  of  the  system was  transferred  into                                                                    
another political  entity. He elaborated that  the recipient                                                                    
would be paying for more  services they were not eligible to                                                                    
get, which he found problematic.  He asked whether Ms. Dolan                                                                    
had any perspective on the Mat-Su problem.                                                                                      
Ms. Dolan  did not want  to speculate. She explained  that a                                                                    
similar request had been made  in Fairbanks - other agencies                                                                    
with limited  resources were looking at  the E-911 surcharge                                                                    
revenue as a possibility to  make up some of those deficits.                                                                    
She stated  that if Mat-Su had  a fund balance in  its E-911                                                                    
surcharge revenue  it may be  stranded in the sense  that it                                                                    
was  not   needed  for  equipment  replacement   or  current                                                                    
expenses  for  911  call  taking, the  borough  may  have  a                                                                    
resource  it could  not spend  without  a statutory  change.                                                                    
Whereas, Fairbanks was not in  a similar situation. She knew                                                                    
there  was  at least  one  other  borough  that was  at  the                                                                    
maximum surcharge revenue  it could collect, and  it did not                                                                    
have  excess revenue  to spend.  She believed  the situation                                                                    
was  likely a  result of  Mat-Su's  fund balance  and not  a                                                                    
result of its negotiations.                                                                                                     
Representative Guttenberg stated that  the issue was someone                                                                    
paying taxes  for services  they were  not eligible  for. He                                                                    
detailed that if someone in  the borough was paying the full                                                                    
salary for someone in the  city, all the 911 service charges                                                                    
were covered,  yet they  were also  paying for  city police,                                                                    
sewer and water, or fire,  which they were not eligible for.                                                                    
He believed it seemed like a problem.                                                                                           
Co-Chair Foster  relayed the  committee would  recess [note:                                                                    
the meeting never reconvened].                                                                                                  
SB  215  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
[Note: discussion  on CSSB  215(FIN)am continued  during the                                                                    
afternoon meeting. See April 16,  2018 1:30 p.m. minutes for                                                                    
9:58:42 AM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 9:58 a.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 215 Amendment #1.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 215
SB 215 Letter of Support - Fairbanks North Star Borough.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 215
SB 215 Letter of Support - Alaska Fire Chiefs Association.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 215
SB 215 Supporting Document - UAF Example.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 215
SB 215 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 215
SB 215 Sectional Summary ver D 3.7.2018.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 215
SB 215 Supporting Document FAQs.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 215
SB92 Sponsor Statement 4.13.2018.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 92
SB92 Sectional Analysis Ver. I.A 4.13.2018.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 92
SB92 Support Doc - Case Studies 4.13.2018.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 92
HB260 Summary of Changes - Version A to Version J.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 260
SB92 Explanation of Changes Ver. D to Ver. I 4.13.2018.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 92
HB260 Residential Hunters AK Letter of Support HB 260.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 260
SB92 Support Doc - Northern Economics Survey 4.13.2018.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 92
HB260 Letter of Support SouthEast Alaska Guides Organization.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 260
HB 260 All 50 States and status on Electronic Fish Game licenses and mobile apps and websites.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 260
HB260 Sponsor Statement 4.6.18.pdf HFIN 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 260