Legislature(2019 - 2020)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/21/2020 09:00 AM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
09:01:50 AM Start
09:02:26 AM Presentation: Economic Support for Alaskans Impacted by Covid-19
03:06:22 PM HB308
04:05:30 PM HB205
04:06:30 PM Presentation: Short and Long-term Impacts of Budget
04:48:40 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Uniform Rule 23(a) Waived
Economic Support for Alaskans Impacted by
**Please Note: All Public Testimony Will be via
Telephone Only. No In-Person Testimony.
From Juneau: 586-9085, Anchorage: 563-9085
Outside Juneau or Anchorage: 844-586-9085
Written Testimony Will be Accepted at:
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS HB 308(FIN) AM Out of Committee
HOUSE BILL NO. 308 am                                                                                                         
     "An  Act relating  to  unemployment  benefits during  a                                                                    
     period of state or  national emergency resulting from a                                                                    
     novel  coronavirus  disease  (COVID-19)  outbreak;  and                                                                    
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
3:06:22 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von Imhof relayed that  the committee had heard the                                                                    
companion bill,  SB 240 on  March 19, 2020. She  invited her                                                                    
staff to discuss changes in the legislation.                                                                                    
3:06:59 PM                                                                                                                    
JULI LUCKY,  STAFF, SENATOR NATASHA  VON IMHOF,  stated that                                                                    
the changes  in the Committee Substitute  (CS) were minimal.                                                                    
She spoke to the Explanation of Changes (copy on file):                                                                         
     The Senate Finance CS for CS for House Bill 308 (FIN)                                                                      
    has two differences from Senate Bill 240, which was                                                                         
    heard in the Senate Finance Committee on March 19,                                                                          
          1. The period that the protections against                                                                            
          disqualification in this bill apply has been                                                                          
          lengthened to 120 days (from 90). The period                                                                          
          starts when the bill becomes law or when a person                                                                     
          applies, whichever is later.                                                                                          
          2. The bill has a retroactive effective date to                                                                       
          March 1, 2020. This change would result in                                                                            
          minimal fiscal impact and will not require a new                                                                      
          fiscal note.                                                                                                          
Ms.  Lucky  reviewed  previously  published FN  1  from  the                                                                    
Department   of  Labor   and   Workforce  Development,   OMB                                                                    
Component  2276.  The  fiscal note  was  indeterminate.  The                                                                    
narrative  spoke  to why  the  note  was indeterminate,  and                                                                    
there  would be  a  required regulation  change. She  stated                                                                    
that  it  was  difficult  to determine  the  fiscal  impacts                                                                    
because the number of possible applicants was unknown.                                                                          
3:09:54 PM                                                                                                                    
PATSY  WESTCOTT,   DIRECTOR,  DIVISION  OF   EMPLOYMENT  AND                                                                    
TRAINING  SERVICES,   DEPARTMENT  OF  LABOR   AND  WORKFORCE                                                                    
DEVELOPMENT  (via  teleconference),   discussed  the  fiscal                                                                    
note.  She  shared  that  the  division  had  already  taken                                                                    
measures  to realign  staff to  respond  to the  anticipated                                                                    
increase  in workload.  She stressed  that the  division was                                                                    
ready to respond to the  workload, but the possible increase                                                                    
in applicants was unknown. She  felt that additional federal                                                                    
authority could be needed.                                                                                                      
3:11:57 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von Imhof thought the  appropriate place to add the                                                                    
federal receipt authority was in the budget.                                                                                    
3:12:22 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair von Imhof invited the sponsor to the table.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  IVY  SPONHOLZ,  SPONSOR, supported  all  the                                                                    
changes in the current CS.                                                                                                      
Senator Bishop MOVED to  ADOPT proposed committee substitute                                                                    
for HB  308, Work Draft 31-LS1711\U  (Wayne, 3/21/20). There                                                                    
being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                          
3:13:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Bishop  asked whether Permanent Fund  Dividends were                                                                    
included in base period wages.                                                                                                  
Ms. Westcott answered in the negative.                                                                                          
Senator  Bishop asked  whether a  federal dividend  would be                                                                    
included in base period wages.                                                                                                  
Ms. Westcott answered in the negative.                                                                                          
Senator  Bishop  asked  whether independent  contractors  or                                                                    
sole based proprietorships would be covered under UI.                                                                           
Ms. Westcott replied in the negative.                                                                                           
3:14:29 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Wielechowski asked whether  people who were employed                                                                    
by  companies  such  as  Uber   and  Lyft  were  covered  by                                                                    
unemployment insurance.                                                                                                         
Ms.  Westcott stated  "yes  and no."  She  relayed that  the                                                                    
legislature  had  exempted  transportation  network  drivers                                                                    
from  the definition  of employment  covered  under UI.  She                                                                    
said  that  the provision  did  not  apply to  drivers  that                                                                    
carried cargo other than human passengers.                                                                                      
Senator  Wielechowski asked  whether there  was a  number of                                                                    
Uber  and  Lyft drivers  that  were  being impacted  by  the                                                                    
COVID-19 virus.                                                                                                                 
Ms. Westcott did  not have data on Uber and  Lyft drivers in                                                                    
the state.  The drivers were  not covered under UI  and were                                                                    
not required to report to the division.                                                                                         
3:16:20 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Bishop  MOVED to  report  SCS  HB 308(FIN)  out  of                                                                    
Committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
SCS HB  308(FIN) was  REPORTED out of  committee with  a "do                                                                    
pass"  recommendation  and  with  one  previously  published                                                                    
indeterminate fiscal note: FN 1(LWF).                                                                                           
Co-Chair  Stedman briefly  told  members that  there were  a                                                                    
couple of  amendments and a  brief presentation  to consider                                                                    
for the Operating  Budget. He hoped to be  finished with the                                                                    
days business before dinner.                                                                                                    
3:17:32 PM                                                                                                                    
4:04:59 PM                                                                                                                    
[Co-Chair von Imhof handed the gavel to Co-Chair Stedman].                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 308 Work Draft v. U.pdf SFIN 3/21/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 308
032120 LFD HB 205 Presentation SFIN .pdf SFIN 3/21/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 205
HB 308 Work Draft v. U Explanation of Changes.pdf SFIN 3/21/2020 9:00:00 AM
HB 308