Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124

04/05/2019 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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Audio Topic
03:19:57 PM Start
03:20:47 PM Confirmation Hearing(s):|| Board of Nursing
03:44:59 PM HB30
04:08:38 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Consideration of Governor's Appointees: Board of
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
Heard & Held
        HB  30-WORKERS' COMP: DEATH; PERM PARTIAL IMPAIR                                                                    
3:44:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR WOOL  announced that the  final order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO. 30, "An  Act relating to the  exclusiveness of                                                               
liability of  an employer in the  case of death; relating  to the                                                               
payment  of  workers'  compensation   benefits  in  the  case  of                                                               
permanent  partial impairment;  relating  to  notice of  workers'                                                               
compensation death benefits; relating  to the payment of workers'                                                               
compensation death  benefits payable  to a  child of  an employee                                                               
where there  is no surviving  spouse; relating to the  payment of                                                               
workers' compensation  death benefits  for an employee  without a                                                               
surviving spouse or child; and providing for an effective date."                                                                
3:46:10 PM                                                                                                                    
ASHLEY STRAUCH,  Staff, Representative Adam Wool,  introduced the                                                               
committee substitute  for HB 30  and explained the changes.   She                                                               
stated  that the  CS makes  two major  deletions to  the previous                                                               
version of the  bill.  First, the benefit is  no longer linked to                                                               
the  Consumer  Price  Index  (CPI).    The  second  major  change                                                               
eliminates  the option  to file  suit against  an employer.   All                                                               
that remains in the current bill,  she said, is the death benefit                                                               
monetary payout.                                                                                                                
3:46:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  moved  to adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS) for HB 30,  labeled 31-LS0280\S, Marx, 4/3/19, as                                                               
the working draft.                                                                                                              
3:47:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   ANDY   JOSEPHSON,  Alaska   State   Legislature,                                                               
reviewed the  fundamentals of  HB 30.   He  stated that  the bill                                                               
updates  Permanent Partial  Impairment (PPI)  ratings to  reflect                                                               
inflation, updates  a death benefit  for dependents that  are not                                                               
part of  a nuclear family,  and creates  a new death  benefit for                                                               
single, childless people.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES asked  if there was a death  benefit for an                                                               
individual who dies on the job with no surviving heirs.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  answered yes,  in that event  the death                                                               
benefit would go to the estate.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES asked  what the benefit amount  would be in                                                               
that scenario.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON said 120,000 dollars.                                                                                  
3:50:37 PM                                                                                                                    
ELISE  SORUM-BIRK, Staff,  Representative  Andy Josephson,  noted                                                               
that  120,000 dollars  is  the same  amount that  would  go to  a                                                               
surviving parent.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  inquired  as   to  how  that  number  was                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON   explained  that  when   updating  the                                                               
original 20,000-dollar  benefit from  1968, inflation  would make                                                               
it 150,000  dollars today.   He pointed  out that  exceeding that                                                               
number would  be illogical because the  original benefit included                                                               
actual dependents.                                                                                                              
3:51:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  WOOL asked  Representative Josephson  if the  committee                                                               
substitute meets his approval.                                                                                                  
REPRESNTATIVE JOSEPHSON answered yes.                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR WOOL  summarized the changes.   He said the  amounts are                                                               
updated,  if the  deceased individual  is  childless and  without                                                               
dependents the  benefit would go  to his  or her parents,  and if                                                               
the deceased  individual is childless and  parentless the benefit                                                               
would go  to his or  her estate.   He asked  if that was  all the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  pointed out  that  there  is one  more                                                               
change at the end of the  bill.  He explained that, under current                                                               
law, if an individual who is  nearing 18 years old loses a parent                                                               
at work and has no  other surviving parent, they wouldn't receive                                                               
a benefit.   However, the current bill changes that  to allow the                                                               
individual to receive some  workers' compensation benefit through                                                               
age 23.                                                                                                                         
3:53:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES asked if  the workers' compensation benefit                                                               
would be additional to a death benefit.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON answered no.                                                                                           
3:53:48 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  questioned whether five years  of workers'                                                               
compensation  exceeds  120,000  dollars  and, if  not,  why  that                                                               
individual wouldn't receive the same benefit as the estate.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON said he was unsure.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN asked  if the five years  of weekly average                                                               
earnings is  paid out in  a lump sum  or gradually over  the five                                                               
3:54:41 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. SORUM-BIRK replied  that it is paid over the  course of those                                                               
years.   She noted that  it takes existing  worker's compensation                                                               
benefits  that  the  individual  would receive  as  a  child  and                                                               
extends it for another five years.                                                                                              
CO-CHAIR WOOL  asked about a  scenario in which the  dependent of                                                               
the deceased  is a minor, he  questioned whether he or  she would                                                               
receive the 120,000 dollars or a different benefit.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON replied  that, under  current law,  the                                                               
amount would be  100 percent of the spendable weekly  wage for an                                                               
only child without any parents.                                                                                                 
CO-CHAIR WOOL asked when a  widow would receive the death benefit                                                               
if they are also getting a percentage of the weekly wage.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  explained that  the death  benefit only                                                               
applies  to dependents  of the  deceased individual  who are  not                                                               
part  of  his or  her  nuclear  family.    The only  other  death                                                               
benefit, he said,  is the one created under the  current bill for                                                               
a  single, childless  person.   He added  that the  benefits that                                                               
could be  paid out  over a long  period of time  to a  widow with                                                               
several  young children  is  850,000 dollars  to  upwards of  one                                                               
million dollars.                                                                                                                
4:00:29 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  sought  clarification  on  what  kind  of                                                               
benefits a mother  and child would receive if the  father were to                                                               
die on the job.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON replied  that  the  benefits would  run                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES questioned  whether both  individuals, the                                                               
mother and the child, would receive benefits.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  explained that the mother  would manage                                                               
the child's share  of the spendable weekly wage;  however, if the                                                               
child is 18 there is no clear answer.                                                                                           
4:03:39 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  WOOL  offered his  understanding  that  once the  child                                                               
turns 18, they would receive their share of the check directly.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON   emphasized  the  simplicity   of  the                                                               
current bill.   He  reiterated that it  updates PPI,  updates the                                                               
1968 death  benefit to account  for inflation, and creates  a new                                                               
death benefit for childless, unmarried people.                                                                                  
4:06:14 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES  questioned whether there could  be clarity                                                               
added for individuals who turn 18 years old.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON replied  that  last year  the bill  was                                                               
adjusted  to  accommodate  circumstances where  the  parents  are                                                               
divorced to prevent "family feuds."                                                                                             
4:07:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  encouraged  finding resolution  to  these                                                               
questions.   She  pointed out  that the  current reality  is that                                                               
"many workers may not live in  a household with the legal benefit                                                               
of spousal  definition under the  law."  She added  that families                                                               
and  households today  look demographically  very different  than                                                               
they did in 1968.                                                                                                               
4:08:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR WOOL announced that HB 30 was held over.                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Wendy Monrad_Redacted.pdf HL&C 4/5/2019 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/15/2019 3:15:00 PM
HLC Letters of Support Wendy Monrad.pdf HL&C 4/5/2019 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/15/2019 3:15:00 PM
Marisha Dieters_Redacted.pdf HL&C 4/5/2019 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/15/2019 3:15:00 PM
HLC Letters of Opposition Marisha Deiters.pdf HL&C 4/5/2019 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/15/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 30.Bill Version S DRAFT.pdf HL&C 4/5/2019 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/8/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 30
HB 30.Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 3/25/2019 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/5/2019 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/8/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 30
HB 30.Sectional Analysis.pdf HL&C 3/25/2019 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/5/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 30
HB 30.Backup PPI Cost Increase Estimate.pdf HL&C 3/25/2019 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/5/2019 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/8/2019 3:15:00 PM
HB 30