Legislature(1993 - 1994)
04/06/1993 03:00 PM L&C
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 237 MARINE PILOT LICENSING AND TARIFFS Number 310 CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated that this bill was crafted to try to solve some of the problems within marine pilotage. CHAIRMAN HUDSON offered amendment 1, moving some of the authority to the APUC (Alaska Public Utilities Commission). REP. MACKIE moved amendment 1 drafted by Lauterbach. Number 350 BOB LOHR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALASKA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION, testified from Anchorage via teleconference in reference to amendment 1. MR. LOHR stated that the commission adopted a position paper regarding the transfer of the authority to set the number of pilots per region to the APUC. He said the APUC believes that the authority should stay with the board and not transfer to APUC. The commission does not believe it has the expertise to undertake this mission. Number 395 KARL LUCK, DIRECTOR, OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, testified that the composition of the pilot board would make the selection of a set number of pilots per region very political with very little, if any, analytical determination made. MR. LUCK stated that the whole idea behind the amendment was to remove the process from the board, which is primarily made up of pilots. REP. MACKIE asked what the makeup was of the Board of Marine Pilots. MR. LUCK answered that there are two public members, two pilots, two agents, and a representative of the commissioner of Commerce. Number 433 REP. MACKIE asked Mr. Lohr, if the information were presented to the APUC from the Board of Marine Pilots regarding setting the number of applicants needed to pilot the ships in the state, could the commission handle it? Number 447 MR. LOHR answered that the commission was not unwilling to handle the job, but after talking to other states' commission's, it was felt that the commission does not have the expertise to adequately handle the task's involved. Number 460 REP. MACKIE commented that the commission has handled other complicated and controversial tasks, so why would this be any different. Number 477 MR. LOHR reiterated the commission's position that it is not in a position to adequately handle this process. Number 483 MR. LUCK added that right now there are six pilot organizations in the state and only two are represented on the board. Number 495 CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked Mr. Luck what his opinion was on amendment 2 offered by the Alaska Coastwise Pilots that would amend the composition of the board membership. Number 508 MR. LUCK responded that this amendment would not be the answer to the problem of seating a fair and representative board. Number 557 CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated that he still believes the APUC is the best impartial entity to establish the limits needed for marine pilotage. Chairman Hudson said he understands that the commission will need some extra funds to create and development the expertise needed to tackle this task. Number 606 REP. MACKIE moved amendment 1 by Chairman Hudson. Discussion continued on amendment 1. TAPE 93-34, SIDE B Number 185 Amendment 1 was adopted conceptually. The committee intended that the amendment say that the Board of Marine Pilots, by regulation, shall set the criteria that will be used by the board to issue pilot licenses in a region where the number of qualified applicants for licensing, when added to the number of pilots already licensed for the region, exceeds the number of pilots determined to be needed for that region under AS 08.62.047. (The APUC shall set the actual limits of total number of marine pilots per region.) Number 200 CHAIRMAN HUDSON directed committee staff to work with Legal Services to word the amendment to fit in the bill as intended. Conceptual amendment 1 was adopted. Number 248 KATE TESAR, representing the ALASKA COASTWISE PILOTS, testified on amendment 2. She said this amendment dealt with the creation and membership of the Board of Marine Pilots. Ms. Tesar stated that this amendment grew from a joint meeting with members of various marine pilot organizations, Chairman Hudson's staff and Director Luck. The amendment was proposed to alleviate any perceived conflict of interest on the board. Number 280 REP. MACKIE stated he feels strongly that board appointments are an administrative function that the legislature should not tamper with. Number 304 CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated he opposed the amendment. REP. MACKIE moved amendment 2. Amendment 2 failed by voice vote. Number 330 MS. TESAR testified that amendment 3 would conceptually disallow anyone anywhere in the state from limiting the number of pilots in the state. CHAIRMAN HUDSON ruled amendment 3 out of order. Number 391 MS. TESAR testified on amendment 4. Ms. Tesar explained that this amendment would provide for independent, impartial and unbiased examiners not employed by, or affiliated with, or past or present members of, any pilot organization in the state. Number 406 MR. LUCK said he opposed this amendment as written on the grounds that it would not be practicable to bring in out-of- state examiners to do the job that he believed the Board of Marine pilots could handle. Number 425 CHAIRMAN HUDSON suggested that the amendment be modified to delete the reference of who would give the exam and just state that it be independent, impartial and unbiased. Number 439 MS. TESAR said Alaska Coastwise Pilots does not believe one organization should be administering and grading others' exams. Number 467 REP. PORTER moved amendment 4 as amended. Number 475 MS. TESAR testified that amendment 5 would allow the APUC to set a maximum tariff that may be charged by pilots and not fixed tariffs as specified in the bill. MS. TESAR stated that HB 237 as written does not take into account safety records or experience. The bill takes away any competition among marine pilots. Number 485 CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated he believes HB 237 as written will encourage industry to hire on performance alone. REP. PORTER moved amendment 5. REP. MACKIE objected. Amendment 5 failed. Number 535 REP. WILLIAMS moved amendment 8. Number 537 MS. TESAR spoke to amendment 8. Ms. Tesar stated that this amendment would establish by regulation the maximum number of pilots to be licensed in a region based on the number needed to assure the safety of human life and property. The number of pilots to be licensed in a region shall not be less than the number of pilots licensed for that region in 1990. Number 550 MR. LUCK spoke against the amendment stating that the 1990 figures would not represent any kind of analytical data that would be representative of what would be needed. Amendment 8 failed. Number 617 MICHAEL SPENCE, ALASKA COASTWISE PILOTS, testified from Ketchikan on amendment 6. Mr. Spence noted that this amendment would change the entry requirements for deputy marine pilots. TAPE 93-35, SIDE A CHAIRMAN HUDSON ruled amendment 6 out of order since it did not pertain to HB 237 before the committee. Number 075 MR. LUCK stated that the marine pilot board addressed this issue and they were adamantly opposed to it. The board felt that this was a major retreat from the present entry level requirements. Number 170 REP. MACKIE stated he would not feel comfortable addressing this amendment now since it would change the existing statute and it was complex in nature. Number 185 CHAIRMAN HUDSON ruled that committee staff, division staff, and members of Alaska Coastwise Pilots work on this amendment. Number 200 MR. SPENCE addressed amendment 7, the nondiscrimination clause, and stated that it is not presently in the marine pilot statute. MR. SPENCE noted that in the 22 years of regulating pilotage, the state of Alaska has never issued a license to an ethnic minority or to a gender minority. Number 211 MR. LUCK expressed concern that this would place a requirement on one board and might indicate a problem that the board has been discriminatory in the past. Number 239 REP. MACKIE pointed out that this amendment was not drawn up by the legal section and he would like to see an opinion that it does not just duplicate some other statute. CHAIRMAN HUDSON noted that he looked favorably on anti- discrimination efforts, but suggested that this amendment be amended to delete section c, which would require the board to report annually. Number 273 CHAIRMAN HUDSON ordered staff to work with legal on this issue and make recommendations to the next committee. Amendment 7 was withdrawn. Number 293 CAPTAIN CHARLES BATES, INDEPENDENT CONTRACT PILOT, spoke to amendment 9. He said this amendment would require proof to the board that a pilot engaged in piloting vessels over 1000 gross tons, including vessels of the Alaska Marine Highway. Number 347 MR. LUCK testified that this amendment would be a major change to the current statutes. Mr. Luck pointed out that the Alaska Ferry's don't necessarily travel the same routes as the cruise ships. The current requirements give credit for piloting ferry ships, but also require pilots to cover certain routes to be licensed. Number 441 CHAIRMAN HUDSON set aside amendment 9. MR. LOHR offered some amendments to HB 237. Chairman Hudson asked him to send the amendments down and instructed staff to work them into the bill with the legal drafter. Number 564 REP. MACKIE moved for passage of CSHB 237(L&C) with zero fiscal note and asked unanimous consent. No objections were heard; it was so ordered.