Legislature(2019 - 2020)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

02/07/2019 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 36 EXTEND BOARD OF NURSING TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 36 Out of Committee
-Invited Testimony Followed by Public Testimony-
*+ SB 29 EXTEND BOARD OF MARINE PILOTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 29 Out of Committee
-Invited Testimony Followed by Public Testimony-
*+ SB 25 EXTEND BOARD OF DENTAL EXAMINERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 25 Out of Committee
-Invited Testimony Followed by Public Testimony-
              SB 29-EXTEND BOARD OF MARINE PILOTS                                                                           
1:58:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be SENATE BILL NO. 29, "An  Act extending the termination date of                                                               
the  Board  of Marine  Pilots;  and  providing for  an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:58:44 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID   SCOTT,  Staff,   Senator  Bert   Stedman,  Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature, introduced himself.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REINBOLD  solicited a  motion and  Senator Costello  made a                                                               
clarifying  motion  to  bring the  original  version  before  the                                                               
committee. Senator Bishop objected for discussion purposes.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:59:21 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  SCOTT paraphrased  the sponsor  statement for  SB 29,  which                                                               
read as follows:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The Board of Marine  Pilots (Board) protects the safety                                                                    
     of  the public  and  the environment  by licensing  and                                                                    
     regulating  marine   pilots  for  almost   all  foreign                                                                    
     vessels  and vessels  over a  certain  size in  Alaskan                                                                    
     waters.  Board  activities  provide  a  good  level  of                                                                    
     assurance  that marine  pilot  licensees are  competent                                                                    
     and able to safely pilot passenger and cargo ships.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     As required under  Title 24 and Title 44  of the Alaska                                                                    
     statutes,  the Legislative  Budget  and Audit  Division                                                                    
     reviewed  the actions  of the  Board of  Marine Pilots.                                                                    
     The  audit found  a continued  need for  the Board  and                                                                    
     that  the  Board  is   following  the  law,  processing                                                                    
     investigations    timely,    and   actively    changing                                                                    
     regulations  to   "improve  the  industry   and  better                                                                    
     protect   the  public."   The  audit   recommended  the                                                                    
     Legislature  extend  the  Board's termination  date  to                                                                    
     June 30,  2027. SB 29  extends the termination  date of                                                                    
     the Board of Marine Pilots to June 30, 2027.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
He said  that the board  consists of seven members  consisting of                                                               
two pilots,  two agents of  vessels, two public members,  and the                                                               
commissioner  of  the  Department   of  Commerce,  Community  and                                                               
Economic Development. He  defined an agent of  vessels as someone                                                               
who works  for the company that  owns the vessel or  directly for                                                               
the  vessel  who  hires  the   marine  pilot.  The  board  adopts                                                               
regulations to  ensure pilots are competent  and qualified, makes                                                               
final licensing decisions, and  takes disciplinary action against                                                               
marine pilots  who violate  laws, he said.  He stated  the sunset                                                               
audit  and the  board's  response  to the  audit  is in  members'                                                               
packets and Ms. Curtis will address the two recommendations.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:01:20 PM                                                                                                                    
KRIS  CURTIS, Legislative  Auditor,  Legislative Audit  Division,                                                               
Legislative Agencies and Offices,  related the division conducted                                                               
a sunset  audit on the  Board of  Marine Pilots dated  April 2018                                                               
[Audit Control Number 08-20112-18]. She  said the audit found the                                                               
board is  serving the public's interest  by effectively licensing                                                               
marine  pilots,  deputy  marine   pilots,  and  by  appropriately                                                               
approving  trainees  and  apprentices.  She  related  that  board                                                               
meetings were  conducted in  compliance with  law, investigations                                                               
were   processed  timely,   and   the   board  actively   changed                                                               
regulations  to  improve  the industry  and  better  protect  the                                                               
public.  The  audit  recommends   an  eight-year  extension.  She                                                               
referred to licensing activity on  page 12. She related the board                                                               
oversees 103  licensees as of  January 2018. She referred  to the                                                               
board's schedule  of revenues  and expenditures  on page  14. She                                                               
noted that  board fees are  located on  page 13, that  this board                                                               
had a surplus of approximately $229,000 as of March 31, 2018.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
She referred  to the two recommendations  for improvements listed                                                               
on page 15-16:  Recommendation 1: The audit  recommends the Board                                                               
of  Marine  Pilots ensure  all  applicable  documents are  aboard                                                               
foreign   pleasure   crafts   in   accordance   with   regulatory                                                               
requirements.  She   said  that  regulations  require   that  the                                                               
operator of  a pleasure craft  applying for a  pilotage exemption                                                               
must  ensure   that  the  pleasure  craft   have  aboard  certain                                                               
documents,  such  as  nautical  charts, tide  tables,  and  other                                                               
guides. The  auditors found that  five of the  seven applications                                                               
that  were tested  stated  that  the vessel  did  not have  those                                                               
documents aboard.  It has been  standard procedure for  the board                                                               
to approve  exemptions with the understanding  that the applicant                                                               
will  follow through  at a  later  date and  obtain the  required                                                               
documents. The board did not  consider the need for or importance                                                               
of  ensuring  that those  documents  were  actually obtained.  In                                                               
addition,  the exemption  itself  did not  include a  stipulation                                                               
that  the  applicant  obtain  the  required  documents  prior  to                                                               
entering  the  applicable area.  She  said  that issuing  foreign                                                               
pleasure  craft exemptions  without verifying  required documents                                                               
are aboard the vessel increases the risk to public safety.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:03:30 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. CURTIS referred  to page [16] to Recommendation  2: The board                                                               
should  ensure the  Southeast  Alaska  Pilots' Association  (APA)                                                               
improves  procedures for  tracking  drug  test notification.  She                                                               
reported  that in  a sample  of nine  drug test  donors from  the                                                               
association,  the auditor  found  three donors  notified by  mail                                                               
were not tracked  in terms of date and recipient.  The APA relied                                                               
on  a  contractor  and  was  not aware  the  contractor  was  not                                                               
tracking that  information, she  said. Inadequate  procedures for                                                               
tracking  drug test  notifications  limit the  ability to  verify                                                               
timeliness and therefore increase the  risk to public safety. She                                                               
offered her  belief that  this should  be an  easy administrative                                                               
fix.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
She  referred to  the  responses to  the audit  on  page 25.  The                                                               
response from  the department and  the board are  essentially the                                                               
same response because  the commissioner is also  the board chair.                                                               
She  said that  the  department  and the  board  agree with  both                                                               
recommendations.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:04:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COSTELLO asked  whether  it was  common  practice for  a                                                               
commissioner to also serve as the board chair.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. CURTIS answered that it happens on occasion.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COSTELLO   asked  for   further  clarification   on  the                                                               
commissioner and the board chair being the same person.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CURTIS responded  that  it  is not  uncommon  for an  entity                                                               
within a department  to have very similar responses  to an audit.                                                               
She remarked it  makes one wonder if the  responses were "penned"                                                               
by the same person. However, it  does not raise any concerns from                                                               
the Division of Legislative Audit's perspective, she said.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:05:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD asked whether these vessels carry fuels.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. CURTIS  replied that she had  no idea what cargo  the vessels                                                               
being piloted carry.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REINBOLD related she raises  concern on drug testing due to                                                               
the Exxon Valdez oil spill  incident. She said that auditors were                                                               
not able to  confirm the drug tests  is a huge issue  for her and                                                               
the issue should be addressed.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:06:48 PM                                                                                                                    
BARRY   OLIVER,  Captain;   Member,   Southeast  Alaska   Pilots'                                                               
Association, stated that he previously  served as a pilot for the                                                               
Alaska Marine Highway System and  currently serves as a Southeast                                                               
Alaska marine  pilot. Most  of the vessels  he pilots  are cruise                                                               
ships, he said.  He responded to the concern  about drug testing,                                                               
by saying,  "We are all  drug tested."  He assured her  that drug                                                               
testing occurred  throughout the period in  question. Apparently,                                                               
the  facility  had a  computer  crash  and  lost the  records  so                                                               
auditors  could not  locate  the records  to  confirm the  marine                                                               
pilots' drug  testing. However, he  personally confirmed  that he                                                               
was drug tested.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REINBOLD said  she was glad to know the  marine pilots were                                                               
drug tested.  She related her  understanding that the  board will                                                               
work with the contractor to remedy the record issue.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN OLIVER replied that is correct.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:08:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BIRCH referred  to the  documents that  needed to  be on                                                               
board  the vessels,  such as  charts  to bring  these vessels  in                                                               
safely.  He  asked  whether  the  marine  pilots  use  electronic                                                               
devices such as  using an iPad instead of a  binder that contains                                                               
charts and other items.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN  OLIVER answered  that marine  pilots  carry "a  personal                                                               
pilot unit,"  which is  plugged into GPS,  so they  monitor their                                                               
own tracking. He  said that marine pilots are trained  to use all                                                               
of the vessel's instruments, but  the personal pilot unit acts as                                                               
verification  that  everything   is  working  satisfactorily.  He                                                               
explained that the act of piloting  is visual, so pilots look out                                                               
the window.  The background electronics  on vessels  allow pilots                                                               
to  verify  what  they  see.  The captain  is  there  to  protect                                                               
personal  property, marine  life, and  the marine  environment on                                                               
behalf of the state, he said.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:10:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD asked him to  identify the three regions in Alaska                                                               
that marine pilots serve.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN OLIVER  related the  three regions  for marine  pilots in                                                               
Alaska:  Region  1  covers Southeast  Alaska  from  Ketchikan  to                                                               
Yakutat Bay,  Region 2 covers  Southwest and  Southcentral Alaska                                                               
from  Icy  Bay to  Kodiak,  including  the Kenai  Peninsula,  and                                                               
Alaska  Marine  Pilots Region  3  covers  the Aleutians.  He  has                                                               
worked on the  Alaska Marine Highway System and  has pilotage all                                                               
the way  to Kodiak  at the federal  level. However,  licensing in                                                               
the  state only  allows a  pilot to  operate in  one region  at a                                                               
time. He lives in Juneau and serves Southeast Alaska.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
[CHAIR REINBOLD closed public testimony on SB 29.]                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:12:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BISHOP removed his objection.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:12:18 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COSTELLO moved  to report  SB  29, Version  31-LS0167/A,                                                               
from  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached                                                               
fiscal note.  There being no  objection, SB 29 was  reported from                                                               
the Senate Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB36 Ver. A.PDF HL&C 4/24/2019 3:15:00 PM
SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 36
SB36 Sponsor Statement 1-28-19.pdf HL&C 4/24/2019 3:15:00 PM
SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 36
SB36 Fiscal Note - SB036-DCCED-CBPL-02-01-19.pdf HL&C 4/24/2019 3:15:00 PM
SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 36
SB36 Supporting Document Division of Legislative Audit Sunset Review April 2017.pdf HL&C 4/24/2019 3:15:00 PM
SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 36
SB36 Supporting Document Division of Legislative Audit Sunset Review Summary 08-20113-18.pdf SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 36
SB29 Version A.PDF SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 29
SB29 Sponsor Statement Version A.pdf SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 29
SB29 Supporting Document Division of Legislative Audit Board of Marine Pilots Sunset Review.pdf SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 29
SB 29 - Letter of Support SEAPA.pdf HL&C 4/24/2019 3:15:00 PM
SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 29
SB29 Fiscal Note - SB029-DCCED-CBPL-02-01-19.pdf SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 29
SB25 Version A.PDF SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 25
SB25 Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 25
SB25 Letter of Support ADS.pdf SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 25
SB25 Board of Dental Examiners Division of Legislative Audit Sunset Review.pdf SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 25
SB25 Fiscal Note - SB025-DCCED-CBPL-02-01-19.pdf SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 25