Legislature(1997 - 1998)

05/08/1997 02:10 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                           MAY 8, 1997                                         
                            2:10 P.M.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 97 - 130, Side 1, #000 - end.                                       
  TAPE HFC 97 - 130, Side 2, #000 - end.                                       
  TAPE HFC 97 - 131, Side 1, #000 - end.                                       
  TAPE HFC 97 - 131, Side 2, #000 - end.                                       
  TAPE HFC 97 - 132, Side 1, #000 - #273.                                      
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Gene Therriault called the House Finance Committee                 
  meeting to order at 2:10 P.M.                                                
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Therriault           Representative Kohring                         
  Representative Davies         Representative Martin                          
  Representative Davis          Representative Moses                           
  Representative Foster         Representative Mulder                          
  Representative Grussendorf    Representative Kelly                           
                                                                               
  Representative Hanley was not present for the meeting.                       
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative  Allen  Kemplen;   Sheila  Peterson,   Staff,                 
  Senator  Gary   Wilken;  Bob  Cole,  Director,  Division  of                 
  Administrative  Services,  Department  of  Corrections;  Art                 
  Chance,  Counsel,  Senate Finance  Committee,  Labor Issues,                 
  Juneau; Diane Barrans, Executive Director, Alaska Commission                 
  on Postsecondary  Education, Department of  Education; Jayne                 
  Andreen, Executive  Director, Council  on Domestic  Violence                 
  and Sexual  Assault,  Anchorage;  John  Yarbor,  Consultant,                 
  Alaska  State Employee  Association, Juneau;  Don Etheridge,                 
  Representative,  Local  71,  Juneau;   Ed  Flanagan,  Deputy                 
  Commissioner, Department  of Labor;  Sam Kito,  III, Special                 
  Assistant,   Department   of   Transportation   and   Public                 
  Facilities;  Jim  Sampson,   Mayor,  Fairbanks  North   Star                 
  Borough,  Fairbanks;  Mike   McMullen,  Personnel   Manager,                 
  Division of Personnel, Department of Administration.                         
                                                                               
  SUMMARY                                                                      
                                                                               
  SB 34     An   Act  giving   notice   of  and   approving  a                 
            lease-purchase agreement with the City of Soldotna                 
            for  a maintenance  facility of the  Department of                 
            Transportation and Public Facilities.                              
                                                                               
            CS SB 34 (FIN) was  reported out of Committee with                 
            a "do pass" recommendation and  with a fiscal note                 
                                                                               
                                1                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
            by the Department  of Revenue dated 4/25/97  and a                 
            zero   fiscal   note   by   the   Department    of                 
            Administration dated 3/11/97.                                      
                                                                               
  SB 151    An  Act   relating  to  public   employment  labor                 
            relations;  relating  to  the  protection  of  the                 
            rights  of  public  employees   under  the  Public                 
            Employment  Relations  Act;  establishing  ethical                 
            standards  for  union  representatives  of  public                 
            employees;     and     establishing     disclosure                 
            requirements    for    public    employee    labor                 
            organizations.                                                     
                                                                               
            SB  151  was   HELD  in   Committee  for   further                 
            consideration.                                                     
                                                                               
  SB 189    An Act  relating to  eligibility for  and default,                 
            collection,  and  repayment   of  student   loans;                 
            relating  to  non-renewal of  certain occupational                 
            licenses  for  default  on  a  student  loan;  and                 
            providing for an effective date.                                   
                                                                               
            CS SB 189 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with                 
            "no recommendation"  and with fiscal notes  by the                 
            Department   of   Education  dated   4/30/97,  the                 
            Department of Labor dated 4/30/97, the Alaska Post                 
            Secondary Commission dated 4/30/97 and zero fiscal                 
            notes by the  Department of  Labor dated  4/30/97,                 
            the Department of Administration dated 4/30/97 and                 
            the   Department   of   Commerce    and   Economic                 
            Development dated 4/30/97.                                         
                                                                               
  HB 47     An Act  relating to authorizing the  Department of                 
            Corrections   to   provide  an   automated  victim                 
            notification and prisoner information system.                      
                                                                               
            HB 47  was reported  out of  Committee with a  "no                 
            recommendation"  and with  a  fiscal  note by  the                 
            House Finance Committee and a  zero fiscal note by                 
            the Department of Public Safety.                                   
                                                                               
  SB 3      An Act authorizing  prosecution and  trial in  the                 
            district court of municipal curfew violations.                     
                                                                               
            CS SB 3 (JUD) was reported out of Committee with a                 
            "do pass" recommendation and with fiscal notes  by                 
            the Department of Health  and Social Services, the                 
            Alaska   Court  System   and  the   Department  of                 
            Administration,  and  a zero  fiscal  note  by the                 
            Department of Public Safety.                                       
  SENATE BILL 189                                                              
                                                                               
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       "An  Act  relating  to  eligibility  for  and  default,                 
       collection, and repayment of student loans; relating to                 
       non-renewal  of  certain   occupational  licenses   for                 
       default  on  a  student  loan;  and  providing  for  an                 
       effective date."                                                        
                                                                               
  SHEILA PETERSON, STAFF, SENATOR GARY  WILKEN, noted that the                 
  current  default rate  of the  student  loans issued  by the                 
  Alaska    Commission    of   Postsecondary    Education   is                 
  unacceptable.  SB 189 would  provide the Commission with the                 
  necessary  financial tools  to  effectively and  efficiently                 
  reduce the number of loans which are in default.                             
                                                                               
  The ultimate goal  of the legislation  would be to create  a                 
  financially  solvent Alaska student  loan program that would                 
  be available to the next generation of Alaskan postsecondary                 
  students.  SB 189 will:                                                      
                                                                               
       1.   Improve  the  credit  rating  of  the  Alaska                      
            Student Loan Program;                                              
                                                                               
       2.   Lower the loan program default rate;                               
                                                                               
       3.   Improve the  return rate on  funds loaned  to                      
            borrowers; and                                                     
                                                                               
       4.   Increase  the  recovery  rate   on  defaulted                      
            loans.                                                             
                                                                               
  Ms. Peterson continued, the program  is experiencing a large                 
  (20%-25%) increase in loan  demand.  Passage of SB  189 will                 
  be a step in the right direction.                                            
                                                                               
  DIANE BARRANS,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  ALASKA  COMMISSION  ON                 
  POSTSECONDARY  EDUCATION,  DEPARTMENT  OF EDUCATION,  stated                 
  that the Commission  has endorsed the  elements of the  bill                 
  which  are   basically  additional   collection  tools   for                 
  defaulted borrowers.  She  pointed out that there will  be a                 
  provision  for a  1/2%  increase  to  the interest  rate  on                 
  student  loans.    It would  not  change  the  rate for  the                 
  upcoming year as  those promissory  notes have already  been                 
  granted.    In the  1998-1999  academic year  interest would                 
  increase to 9%.   The determining  base for the interest  is                 
  the rate paid for outstanding bonds.                                         
                                                                               
  Ms. Barrans provided  a sectional  analysis of the  proposed                 
  legislation.    The  first substantive  change  would  be to                 
  Section   #5   which  identifies   the   increase   from  an                 
  administrative  add-on.   Section  #6  would  authorize  the                 
  credit  assessment  on  borrowers.   In  the  event  that  a                 
  borrower is shown to have a bad debt, Section #7 would allow                 
                                                                               
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  for a credit worthy co-signer to apply for the loan.                         
                                                                               
  Section  #8 would allow  for the Commissioner  to provide an                 
  administrative wage garnishment.  Currently, that action can                 
  happen only through a court judgement.  She advised that the                 
  Alaska  Statutes  "hold harmless"  a  certain portion  of an                 
  individuals pay check  and that no  exception from that  law                 
  was being requested.                                                         
                                                                               
  Representative  Kohring questioned  if the  bill provided  a                 
  provision  which would  grant  withholding authority  of  an                 
  occupational license when in default.  Ms. Barrans commented                 
  that the  Division currently has that authority.   She added                 
  that they do  not try to revoke the  license during a period                 
  of licensure,  but rather, wait  until the license  comes up                 
  for renewal.  If the person in default is in compliance with                 
  some type of  pay arrangement, they  are then able to  renew                 
  their  licensure.   She pointed  out  that this  was modeled                 
  after  similar  legislation  passed  by  the  Child  Support                 
  Enforcement Agency (CSEA).                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative  Martin  recommended  adding the  requirement                 
  that collateral be guaranteed  by the parents.  Ms.  Barrans                 
  explained that would still  be an unsecured note.   A credit                 
  assessment will be  the first step  in that direction.   She                 
  noted the concern  for those families  who were not able  to                 
  put up collateral and would be  unable to fund their child's                 
  education.   Ms.  Barrans explained  that about  60%  of the                 
  defaulters live in  Alaska and one tool  used is garnishment                 
  of the permanent fund.                                                       
                                                                               
  Representative Foster MOVED to report CS SB 189 (FIN) out of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                               
  CS  SB 189  (FIN) was reported  out of Committee  with a "no                 
  recommendation" and with  fiscal notes by the  Department of                 
  Education  dated  4/30/97,  the  Department  of  Labor dated                 
  4/30/97, the  Alaska Postsecondary  Education dated  4/30/97                 
  and  zero fiscal  notes  by the  Department  of Labor  dated                 
  4/30/97, the Department of Administration  dated 4/30/97 and                 
  the Department  of Commerce  and Economic Development  dated                 
  4/30/97.                                                                     
  SENATE BILL 3                                                                
                                                                               
       "An  Act  authorizing  prosecution  and  trial  in  the                 
       district court of municipal curfew violations."                         
                                                                               
  Representative Foster MOVED to  report CS SB 3 (JUD)  out of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
                                                                               
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  accompanying fiscal notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                               
  CS SB 3 (JUD) was reported out of Committee with a "do pass"                 
  recommendation and with  fiscal notes  by the Department  of                 
  Health and  Social Services,  the Alaska  Court System,  the                 
  Department of Administration and  a zero fiscal note  by the                 
  Department of Public Safety.                                                 
  SENATE BILL 34                                                               
                                                                               
       "An Act giving notice of and approving a lease-purchase                 
       agreement with the  City of Soldotna for  a maintenance                 
       facility of the Department of Transportation and Public                 
       Facilities."                                                            
                                                                               
  Representative G. Davis  explained that SB 34  would provide                 
  authorization to  the  State of  Alaska  to enter  into  and                 
  finance a lease-purchase agreement for the construction of a                 
  new maintenance facility in Soldotna.                                        
                                                                               
  The current facility, resting on a  seven acre site, is over                 
  30 years old, located along the  Kenai River.  That facility                 
  is of concern  to the  entire community.   The new  facility                 
  will be constructed on a site which is currently held by the                 
  Kenai Peninsula Borough (KPB).  He  pointed out that the KPB                 
  "owes" the State  the acreage; thus,  there will be no  land                 
  acquisition costs to the project.  KPB will deed the land to                 
  whatever entity to comply with the bonding requirements.                     
                                                                               
  Representative  G. Davis  reiterated  that  there is  public                 
  concern  regarding the  maintenance  citing of  the facility                 
  along  the  Kenai  River.   Heightened  public  awareness of                 
  habitat  protection  and  water quality  for  the  river has                 
  focused  on that  station.   The  proposed  project has  the                 
  support  of the  Department  of  Transportation  and  Public                 
  Facilities (DOTP&F) and seems to be the most viable option.                  
                                                                               
  In the early 1960's, the State conveyed to the Kenai Borough                 
  a parcel of land  for Borough ownership.  As a  part of that                 
  agreement, the  Borough then owed  land of similar  value to                 
  the State.  The  City of Soldotna has proposed  to the State                 
  their interest in the said land and currently is waiting for                 
  the transaction to convey that land.                                         
                                                                               
  Representative G. Davis  pointed out that the new site would                 
  be conveyed  at no  cost to  the State.   Representative  J.                 
  Davies questioned the  costs of  the clean-up involved  with                 
  the   site   being  vacated.      Representative   G.  Davis                 
  acknowledged that a  $150 thousand dollar contract  had been                 
  granted last  summer to address  those concerns.   He added,                 
  there  was  additional  money appropriated  in  past  budget                 
                                                                               
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  cycles and also in the current fiscal Capital Budget for the                 
  clean-up.                                                                    
                                                                               
  SAM  KITO,  III,  SPECIAL  ASSISTANT  TO  THE  COMMISSIONER,                 
  DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC FACILITIES, spoke in                 
  support  of the  proposed legislation.   He  noted that  the                 
  Department  has  been  working  on  the  proposal  with  the                 
  Soldotna delegation  for several years.  Co-Chair Therriault                 
  asked if  the  proposal had  been  submitted for  a  Capital                 
  appropriation.    Mr.  Kito  replied  that  there  had  been                 
  interest to  include it  for a  capital appropriation  about                 
  three years  ago,  although, did  not  make it  through  the                 
  process.   The City  of Soldotna  and the  State then  began                 
  looking at bonding options.                                                  
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Therriault  questioned  if money  existed  for  the                 
  removal of the existing structure.  Mr. Kito  commented that                 
  there  are funds for demolition of the existing structure as                 
  well as funding for the new  proposed structure.  He pointed                 
  out that there  will be a separate  appropriation to address                 
  the clean-up.  He hoped it would be sufficient.                              
                                                                               
  Ultimately, the  property will be transferred to the City of                 
  Soldotna from the State.  Representative G. Davis understood                 
  that Soldotna had  no additional municipal selections.   The                 
  cost of the  new facility  is projected to  be $4.5  million                 
  dollars.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder MOVED to report CS  SB 34 (FIN) out of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                               
  CS SB 34  (FIN) was  reported out  of Committee  with a  "do                 
  pass"  recommendation  and   with  a  fiscal  note   by  the                 
  Department of Revenue  dated 4/25/97 and a zero  fiscal note                 
  by the Department of Administration dated 3/11/97.                           
  HOUSE BILL 47                                                                
                                                                               
       "An Act  relating  to  authorizing  the  Department  of                 
       Corrections to provide an automated victim notification                 
       and prisoner information system."                                       
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN KEMPLEN  noted that each day,  over 600                 
  concerned  Alaskans  call  the   State  institution  seeking                 
  information  on inmates.    Alaska's  prisons and  pre-trial                 
  facilities house 2,990  inmates, 49% of whom  are considered                 
  violent.    Clearly,  proper  and  timely  notifications  to                 
  victims about the release or escape of their attackers could                 
  improve their sense of safety.                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
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  A   state-of-the-art   computer   system,    called   Victim                 
  Information and  Notification Everyday (VINE)  was developed                 
  to  keep crime victims  informed of  inmate activity.   VINE                 
  provides two important services which enhance the vital link                 
  of communication between the justice  system and the victim.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
       1.   VINE provides automatic notification calls to                      
            a  crime  victim   when  an  inmate's  status                      
            changes.                                                           
                                                                               
       2.   VINE provides critical inmate  information 24                      
            hours  a  day,  7 days  a  week,  through the                      
            automated telephone system.                                        
                                                                               
  Representative  Kemplen  reiterated  that  the  goal of  the                 
  legislation  was to meet the need  for timely, efficient and                 
  reliable  notification  to  a  victim  about  the  offenders                 
  status.   The  legislation  would provide  for  the  use  of                 
  innovative technology  that will  assist  the Department  of                 
  Corrections staff who  are responsible  for notifying  crime                 
  victims who  have moved.    The legislation  would give  the                 
  victims more control.                                                        
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Therriault  questioned if the  $150 thousand dollar                 
  fiscal note  was essential.   Representative  Kemplen stated                 
  that those are one  time costs.  He recommended  moving some                 
  of  the  general  fund  expenditures  to  program  receipts.                 
  Program receipts  in the out  years would be  generated from                 
  individuals calling into the system and assessed  a fee each                 
  time.                                                                        
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder recommended providing authorization to                 
  establish  the request  without providing a  funding source.                 
  Co-Chair Therriault pointed  out that  fiscal action on  the                 
  bill  could   be  addressed  during   Conference  Committee.                 
  Discussion followed  about  possible shifts  to the  funding                 
  source.                                                                      
                                                                               
  (Tape Change HFC 97-130, Side 2).                                            
                                                                               
  JAYNE  ANDREEN,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  COUNCIL  ON  DOMESTIC                 
  VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT, ANCHORAGE, testified in support                 
  of HB  47.  Many  states have been  looking at how  they can                 
  improve notification to  victims.  In 1994,  Alaskans passed                 
  the  Victim's  Right  amendment.     Victims  now  have  the                 
  constitutional right to  be notified of the  status of their                 
  offenders as  well as the right to be able to participate in                 
  the process.   Combined with the new  Domestic Violence Law,                 
  as well as  HB 9,  will increase the  responsibility of  the                 
  Department of Corrections to maintain  and notify the victim                 
  of the status  of their offenders.   She explained that  the                 
                                                                               
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  legislation would accomplish two things:                                     
                                                                               
       1.   Once the change of status is entered into the                      
            computer,  the  victim will  be automatically                      
            notified by telephone of that status change.                       
                                                                               
       2.   Victims will be given a  pin telephone number                      
            which they will  be able  to call at  anytime                      
            regarding the status of their offender.                            
                                                                               
  ROBERT COLE, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE  SERVICES,                 
  DEPARTMENT OF  CORRECTIONS, stated  that the  assumption was                 
  that the Department  would use  general funding to  initiate                 
  the system and  for first year operations.   He spoke to the                 
  implementation  costs  and  suggested that  the  fiscal note                 
  could be slightly reduced.                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative J. Davies  MOVED to add $20  thousand dollars                 
  to  the program  receipt line  in anticipation  that  in the                 
  fourth  quarter the system would be out of funds, and then a                 
  fraction  of  the need  would be  corrected.   There  was NO                 
  OBJECTION to the fiscal note change.                                         
                                                                               
  Representative Foster MOVED to report HB 47 out of Committee                 
  with individual recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal                 
  notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                         
                                                                               
  HB 47 was reported out of Committee with "no recommendation"                 
  and with a  House Finance Committee  fiscal note and a  zero                 
  fiscal note by the Department of Public Safety.                              
  SENATE BILL 151                                                              
                                                                               
       "An  Act relating to public employment labor relations;                 
       relating  to  the protection  of  the rights  of public                 
       employees  under the  Public Employment  Relations Act;                 
       establishing     ethical     standards     for    union                 
       representatives of public  employees; and  establishing                 
       disclosure  requirements  for  public   employee  labor                 
       organizations."                                                         
                                                                               
  ART  CHANCE,   COUNSEL,  SENATE  FINANCE   COMMITTEE,  LABOR                 
  RELATIONS,  provided  a  sectional  analysis  of  the  major                 
  changes to the existing work draft for SB 151.                               
                                                                               
  Section #2 would  provide that the parties may not negotiate                 
  terms  contrary  to  a  statute except  if  such  terms  are                 
  specifically made subject to bargaining by the Act.                          
                                                                               
  Section  #3  would  provide  that  public  employers  retain                 
  managerial  rights and prerogatives  and that limitations on                 
  such rights are to be narrowly construed by arbitrators, the                 
                                                                               
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  labor relations agency and the courts.                                       
                                                                               
  Section #4  incorporated the  Alaska Labor  Relations Agency                 
  (ALRA) regulations  and decisions  regarding composition  of                 
  bargaining units  and would add definitions  of supervisory,                 
  confidential and  law enforcement  employees  based on  ALRA                 
  decisions.    It  also would  require  that  peace officers,                 
  including  Correctional   Officers,  must  be   in  separate                 
  bargaining unit from  employees who are not  peace officers.                 
  The provision would mirror the  National Guard Unit language                 
  in federal law.                                                              
                                                                               
  Representative J.  Davies questioned  the  rational used  to                 
  determine  that police  officers  and correctional  officers                 
  should be in  different bargaining units.   Mr. Chance noted                 
  that action  resulted from  union claims  in labor  relation                 
  agency hearings.                                                             
                                                                               
  Section #5 would reflect ALRA's decisions and federal law in                 
  permitting  public employers to challenge the composition of                 
  a bargaining unit and  to question the majority status  of a                 
  union.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Section  #6  would  require  the  ALRA  to  investigate  the                 
  propriety of a mutually recognized  bargaining unit upon the                 
  petition of an employee in that bargaining unit.                             
                                                                               
  Section #8  would make  it an  unfair labor  practice for  a                 
  public employer to contribute financial  or other support to                 
  a union  mirroring federal  law.   It would  allow a  public                 
  employer  to  confer with  its  employees over  work related                 
  matters  without incurring  unfair  labor practice  charges.                 
  Section   #8  would   also  eliminate   the  current   law's                 
  authorization of compulsory union membership while retaining                 
  the  authorization   for  compulsory  fees   for  collective                 
  bargaining  services.    It  would  prohibit  a  union  from                 
  involving   a  secondary  employer   in  a   labor  dispute,                 
  picketing,  boycotting  or  otherwise  interfering  with   a                 
  private employer as  the result of  a dispute with a  public                 
  employer.   It  would  prohibit  a  union from  charging  an                 
  unreasonable  service   fee   related   to   the   cost   of                 
  representation and would provide that  an employee may bring                 
  such charges  to the  ALRA.   Finally, it  would prohibit  a                 
  public employee union  and public employer from  agreeing to                 
  refrain from doing business with another employer.                           
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Therriault asked if Section  #8 would be similar to                 
  the system used by the National Education Association (NEA).                 
  Mr.  Chance  replied  that  it   would  require  a  separate                 
  accounting.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Section  #9 would  provide that  statements by  legislators,                 
                                                                               
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  judges and  certain municipal  officials may not  constitute                 
  unfair  labor  practices  so  long as  that  person  is  not                 
  specifically responsible for relations with employees.                       
                                                                               
  Section #12 would  narrow the scope of  employees prohibited                 
  from  striking  and  would,  thus,  be subject  to  interest                 
  arbitration.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Section #13 would narrow  the scope of employees who  can be                 
  enjoined  from  striking,  and  thus,  subject  to  interest                 
  arbitration.   It  would  add a  class  of residential  care                 
  employees to  reflect changes  in Pioneer  Home to  assisted                 
  living.   It would remove post-secondary education employees                 
  from this  class to a  class three employee,  mirroring K-12                 
  teachers and other school employees.                                         
                                                                               
  Section #14 would  reflect recent  court holding that  ferry                 
  system  employees  are  class  three  employees.   It  would                 
  provide  that an employee may  lawfully strike only after an                 
  impasse in bargaining.                                                       
                                                                               
  Section  #15  would provide  a  reliable means  of selecting                 
  arbitrators for interest arbitrations and would require that                 
  they have Alaska or Pacific Northwest experience.                            
                                                                               
  Section  #16 would  prohibit  agreements  longer than  three                 
  years  and automatic renewal clauses.  It would provide that                 
  employees may resort  to binding grievance arbitration  only                 
  under the terms of an agreement.  Section #16 would prohibit                 
  a  labor  organization  that  has  failed to  file  required                 
  financial  reports from  enforcing  an  agreement and  would                 
  require  that  the  ALRA, rather  than  the  Commissioner of                 
  Administration, promulgate  regulations governing  residency                 
  base pay differentials in  recognition of the fact  that the                 
  Public Employee Relations  Act (PERA) applies to  all public                 
  employers, not just the State.                                               
                                                                               
  Section  #19   would  establish  arbitrating   selection  of                 
  criteria for binding grievance arbitration and would require                 
  Alaska or Pacific Northwest experience.                                      
                                                                               
  Section   #20-#22   would  increase   Legislative  oversight                 
  authority over collective bargaining by:                                     
                                                                               
       *    Defining  monetary  terms  and  adding  terms                      
       which   address   extensions,   modifications  and                      
       interest for arbitrator's awards.                                       
                                                                               
       *    The   legislative   body   of   a   political                      
       subdivision  to review  and  approve the  monetary                      
       terms of an agreement.                                                  
                                                                               
                                                                               
                               10                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
       *    Providing that no monetary  term is effective                      
       or enforceable  until approved by  the Legislature                      
       or   the   legislative   body   of   a   political                      
       subdivision.                                                            
                                                                               
       *    Requiring the parties to  resume negotiations                      
       in the event of disapproval.                                            
                                                                               
       *    Requiring the Commissioner  of Administration                      
       to report  all State  agreements, settlements  and                      
       arbitrators'  awards  costing  over  $10  thousand                      
       dollars to the Legislative  Budget and Audit (LBA)                      
       Committee for review.                                                   
                                                                               
       *    Requiring the Commissioner  of Administration                      
       to   report   all   agreements,  settlements   and                      
       arbitrators' awards that substantively  modify the                      
       reported terms to the Legislature for approval.                         
                                                                               
       *    Empowering   the   legislative    bodies   of                      
       political  subdivisions  to   promulgate  approval                      
       procedures.                                                             
                                                                               
  Section #23  would prohibit  irrevocable check-off  dues for                 
  periods longer than  one year  and would explicitly  provide                 
  that check-off  authorization must be voluntary  and renewed                 
  annually.                                                                    
                                                                               
  In response to Representative J. Davies' comment, Mr. Chance                 
  noted  that  an  ability  to stop  the  delaying  tactic was                 
  available and would  remain available  under the "refuse  to                 
  bargaining charge" in a  labor relations agency.  The  State                 
  could hear those  charges quite quickly.   Representative J.                 
  Davies pointed out  there have  been long term  negotiations                 
  and which were not heard quickly  because of an unfair labor                 
  practice.   He  asked if  during  the time  of negotiations,                 
  would there be a payment  of fees.  Mr. Chance  replied that                 
  would be determined by the parties.                                          
                                                                               
  (Tape Change HFC 97-131, Side 1).                                            
                                                                               
  Mr. Chance continued, Section #24  would prohibit check-offs                 
  from service fee payers outside the term of an agreement and                 
  would include the same irrevocability  provisions.  It would                 
  require  affirmative  notice  on  the  check-off  form  that                 
  employees not be required as a condition of employment to be                 
  or become a member  of the union or to  contribute financial                 
  support to its social, political and fraternal activities.                   
                                                                               
  Section #25 would clarify the definition of "monetary terms"                 
  to  include  changes  from  the  predecessor   agreement  or                 
  statutory  terms  which  would require  the  expenditure  of                 
                                                                               
                               11                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  public money  and would  exempt certain  types of  employees                 
  from the Act's coverage.                                                     
                                                                               
  The major  additions to  the Act  are modeled  on the  Taft-                 
  Hartley and Landrum-Griffin amendments to the National Labor                 
  Relations  Act.    These are  essentially  identical  to the                 
  requirements  imposed  on private  sector  unions bargaining                 
  under that Act.                                                              
                                                                               
  Section #27 would  articulate the rights of union members to                 
  participate democratically  in the operation  of the  union.                 
  It would require that service fee  payers be allowed to vote                 
  in  contract ratification  elections and other  elections or                 
  referendums  which  might  effect a  fee  payer's  terms and                 
  conditions of employment.  Also,  it would require that dues                 
  may  only  be  increased  in  a  democratic,  secret  ballot                 
  election.  The section would  prohibit union restrictions on                 
  member's right to sue the union  and to participate in other                 
  forms of adjudication.   Mr.  Chance concluded that  Section                 
  of their rights under this Act.                                              
                                                                               
  Article #4 would require public  employee unions to register                 
  with the Commissioner  of Labor  and report their  structure                 
  and finances.  It would require  annual financial reports by                 
  public employee  unions and  disclosure of  all expenditures                 
  made  for  the purpose  of  influencing  the  outcome of  an                 
  election.  It would require that such a report be maintained                 
  in the State and be  made available to members.  Article  #4                 
  would also provide that a labor organization comply with the                 
  reporting requirements by submitting a  copy of the decision                 
  or order with the Commissioner.                                              
                                                                               
  Article #5  would prohibit  certain financial  transactions,                 
  including  contribution  to  political   campaigns,  between                 
  officer, agents  and employees  of unions  and officers  and                 
  officials  of  public  employers  where  the  intent  is  to                 
  influence the exercise  to employees  of their rights  under                 
  the Act.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Section 23.40.410  would exempt attorney-client  and certain                 
  deliberative communications from reporting and disclosure.                   
                                                                               
  Section 23.40.420 would make reports a public record.                        
                                                                               
  Section  23.40.430   would  make   violation  of   reporting                 
  requirements a Class A misdemeanor.                                          
                                                                               
  Article #5  would prohibit  certain financial  transactions,                 
  including  contribution  to  political   campaigns,  between                 
  officers, agents and  employees of  unions and officers  and                 
  officials  of  public  employers  where  the  intent  is  to                 
                                                                               
                               12                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  influence the exercise  by employees  of their rights  under                 
  the Act.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Section 23.40.620 would provide an exemption form  reporting                 
  requirements for labor organizations that are subject to the                 
  federal Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act.                       
                                                                               
  Section   #30   would   repeal   all   pre-PERA   bargaining                 
  authorization.                                                               
                                                                               
  Section  #33 would  exempt  established bargaining  units in                 
  political  subdivision from  the bargaining  unit definition                 
  changes in Section #4.                                                       
                                                                               
  Representative Kelly questioned how the bill was formulated.                 
  Mr.  Chance  replied that  the  bill has  changed  from it's                 
  original form.   That type  of organization would  be exempt                 
  now except for providing a copy of their federal forms which                 
  would be addressed in Section #27 and Section 23.46.20.                      
                                                                               
  Representative Kelly referenced Section #23, and asked how a                 
  trade  union  currently would  address  the situation.   Mr.                 
  Chance advised that very few trade unions have a service fee                 
  arrangement.  They mostly have membership arrangements which                 
  is allowable under  the federal  law.  Representative  Kelly                 
  asked if an  employee had a member who was not forced to pay                 
  the  fee,  between  contracts, would  the  service  payer be                 
  exposed.   Mr.  Chance  explained that  in  the  process  an                 
  employer can not  direct-deal with an  employee who is in  a                 
  bargaining unit  and  who has  a  certified  representative.                 
  Also, all  mandatory terms must be maintained  at the status                 
  quo until such  time that there  is a valid stated  impasse.                 
  At impasse, all bets end regarding terms and conditions.                     
  Representative  Kelly  questioned the  State's  benefit with                 
  inclusion of that clause.   Mr. Chance stated that  it would                 
  guarantee that the parties negotiate a contract.                             
                                                                               
  JOHN YARBOR, CONSULTANT, ALASKA STATE EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION,                 
  JUNEAU, spoke in opposition to SB  151.  He pointed out that                 
  the State has had the same reporting requirements since  the                 
  late 1970's, and  that the  proposed legislation intends  to                 
  "correct".  He  questioned the  need to rewrite  PERA.   The                 
  legislation will  reduce an employees right both politically                 
  and for bargaining  in good faith.   He emphasized that  the                 
  legislation  treads  on individuals  rights.   It  will most                 
  certainly restrict correctional officers.                                    
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder pointed out that the legislation would                 
  allow a  choice in representation.  Mr.  Yarbor replied that                 
  Section #4 would dictate which employees could work together                 
  in   the  same  bargaining   unit.    Representative  Mulder                 
  respectfully disagreed.  He stated that there it is based on                 
                                                                               
                               13                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  logic and that there  is a community of interest  within the                 
  units that  deserve the opportunity  to have their  own unit                 
  and interest represented.                                                    
                                                                               
  Representative  J. Davies  asked if  problems have  resulted                 
  with  having  different classification  of  employees.   Mr.                 
  Yarbor commented that he represents  a specific community of                 
  interest and  that it would not be  prudent for the State to                 
  be bargaining with a  larger number of units.   Having three                 
  units within one union  makes for less expense to  the State                 
  and for the employee.                                                        
                                                                               
  In response  to Representative  Mulder's  query, Mr.  Yarbor                 
  commented that  there are no elections scheduled.  The Labor                 
  Relations  Board ruled  that correctional  officers  were an                 
  entity of their own and could,  therefore, bargain their own                 
  contract.   Since that ruling,  there has  been no  election                 
  scheduled by the Labor Relations Board.                                      
                                                                               
  Representative  Mulder suggested that at times ASEA develops                 
  a split personality.  He noted that correctional officers in                 
  his community have expressed frustration  with the fact that                 
  they have different  needs than  clerical workers and  would                 
  prefer to have their own voice.  He thought  the best public                 
  policy  decision  would  be  passage  of  the   legislation.                 
  Representative  J. Davies  countered  that  the best  public                 
  policy  would  be   the  one  that  would  allow   the  most                 
  flexibility, thus providing employees options.                               
                                                                               
  DON  ETHERIDGE,  REPRESENTATIVE  LOCAL  71,  JUNEAU,  voiced                 
  opposition to the proposed legislation.  He added that every                 
  labor organization  throughout the State  of Alaska  opposes                 
  the legislation.  He believed that the current system is not                 
  broken and should  not be fixed;  it is protected by  either                 
  the  federal government or by established  court cases.  The                 
  State should not be involved in union operations.                            
                                                                               
  Representative G.  Davis pointed  out that  there have  been                 
  several court cases which indicate a need for clarification.                 
  Mr. Etheridge  stated that those areas are  not the problem.                 
  He noted that  the good  parts of the  legislation have  not                 
  been included.                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder asked if there were  problems existing                 
  in the  bill which clarify what a union  is and does for the                 
  continued  purpose  of being  protected  through PERA.   Mr.                 
  Etheridge  replied  that  many  portions  of  the  bill  are                 
  included in  the union  by-laws.   He noted  that the  union                 
  council is currently  scrutinizing the prepared work  draft.                 
  Representative  Mulder  requested  that  those  findings  be                 
  submitted  to  the Legislature,  stressing  that it  was the                 
  legislative intent to create a good public policy.                           
                                                                               
                               14                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  ED FLANAGAN, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, noted                 
  that the Department opposes the proposed legislation because                 
  it creates  a cumbersome  and unneeded  new bureaucracy  and                 
  will  disrupt  rather  than   improve  public  sector  labor                 
  relations in the State of Alaska.                                            
                                                                               
  The  so-called  "modernization"  is,  in  a large  part,  an                 
  adoption of provisions of two federal laws, the Taft-Hartley                 
  Act of 1947  and the  Landrum-Griffin Act of  1959, both  of                 
  which were extended at the time of PERA's enactment in 1972.                 
  The Department would submit  that the legislation understood                 
  the ramification of those provisions in PERA.                                
                                                                               
  Section #1 is  a declaration of  findings and purpose.   The                 
  Legislature finds that legislation is necessary to eliminate                 
  or  prevent  improper   practices  on  the  part   of  labor                 
  organizations,  public  employers   and  their  officers  or                 
  representatives.    He  pointed  out  that  in  four  public                 
  hearings in  three committees, the  only person to  speak in                 
  support of the bill was the paid consultant to the House and                 
  Senate Fiance Committees, and he did not provide evidence or                 
  documentation to support the findings.                                       
                                                                               
  Section  #2  would  add   a  fifth  "item  not   subject  to                 
  bargaining" which  would allow political  subdivisions under                 
  PERA to limit  the scope of collective bargaining  by merely                 
  passing an ordinance.                                                        
                                                                               
  Section #4 is the most  problematic section and would  allow                 
  individual employees to file grievances outside of the union                 
  process,  removing  the   "filtration"  of   non-meritorious                 
  complaints which the  union provides and would  increase the                 
  workload for public  employers.  It  would also explode  the                 
  current bargaining unit  system by prohibiting inclusion  of                 
  peace officers  and non-peace  officers and strike  eligible                 
  and non-strike  eligible employees  in the  same unit  which                 
  would result in  the State going from  nine bargaining units                 
  to twenty-one.                                                               
                                                                               
  Section #6 would allow a single  member of a bargaining unit                 
  or  the  union  representative of  which  was  recognized by                 
  consent to challenge,  the appropriateness  of the unit  and                 
  the majority status of the union.                                            
                                                                               
  Section  #8 would  remove from  PERA even  the  reference to                 
  allowing  parties   to  bargain   clauses  requiring   union                 
  membership as an  option or  alternative to "service  fees".                 
  It  also  includes  a  number   of  irrelevant  federal  law                 
  prohibitions on secondary boycotts, "hot cargo" clauses, and                 
  recognition or jurisdictional strikes.  Section #8 would put                 
  the  ALRA  rather  than  the  courts   in  the  business  of                 
                                                                               
                               15                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  adjudicating service fees  for "dissenters" who do  not wish                 
  to support the political, social, or fraternal activities of                 
  the union.                                                                   
                                                                               
  (Tape Change HFC 97-131, Side 2).                                            
                                                                               
  Mr. Flanagan  continued, Section  #9 could  be construed  to                 
  prohibit  "subcontracting  clauses"  in  the  public  sector                 
  agreements,   which  removes   a   "mandatory"  subject   of                 
  bargaining from the table.                                                   
                                                                               
  Sections #12, #13, and #14 would alter the current "classes"                 
  of  employees  with  regard  to  strike eligibility.    Many                 
  employees  in  institutions who  are  currently  barred from                 
  striking, such as food  service, maintenance and  custodial,                 
  administrative and non-licensed medical personnel, would now                 
  have the right to strike.                                                    
                                                                               
  Section #15 would limit  the "interest arbitrator" selection                 
  to members of Federal Mediation Conciliation Service (FMCS),                 
  precluding use of  arbitrators who are only  affiliated with                 
  American Arbitrators Association (AAA).                                      
                                                                               
  Section #16 would prohibit "automatic renewal" of agreements                 
  and  would presumably  prohibit  parties from  continuing to                 
  work under  the terms  of an  expired collective  bargaining                 
  agreement until  a  successor  agreement  is  negotiated,  a                 
  precess which can take  months or even years.   This section                 
  would terminate  the grievance  procedure during an  interim                 
  between  contracts  further  promoting  disharmonious  labor                 
  relations in direct contradiction to the declared purpose of                 
  PERA and the legislation.                                                    
                                                                               
  Mr. Flanagan explained  the difference  between Class I,  2,                 
  and 3  employees.   He pointed  out that  the public  sector                 
  employees  do not  have the  right  to strike  in forty-nine                 
  states; PERA allows for alternatives.  Class 1 employees are                 
  forbidden  from  striking  with an  alternative  of  binding                 
  arbitration.   Class  2 employees  have a  limited right  to                 
  strike and the employer can join the  strike if it is in the                 
  public's   best  interest.     Current  law   provides  some                 
  flexibility  of who  should be  able to  strike, while  this                 
  legislation would eliminate that right.                                      
                                                                               
  Section #17  would transfer responsibility  for establishing                 
  cost-of-living allowance (COLA)  for non-resident  employees                 
  from the Commissioner of Administration to ALRA.                             
                                                                               
  Section #19 would  prohibit parties from utilizing  American                 
  Arbitrator Association  (AAA) arbitrators and would make the                 
  arbitrator  awards under PERA  subject to the Administrative                 
  Procedures  Act   for  the   purpose  of   appeal,  thereby,                 
                                                                               
                               16                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  subjecting  all  awards to  court  review; current  law only                 
  allows  for appeal to the court  in the event of gross error                 
  or violation of public policy.  Increased  litigation is not                 
  in the best interest of either employers or employees.                       
                                                                               
  Sections #20-22  expands legislative review  and/or approval                 
  to include arbitration awards (both interest and grievance),                 
  contract   extensions   and   modifications.       Grievance                 
  arbitration   awards   interpret  and   enforce  contractual                 
  commitments  inherent  in negotiated  agreements  which have                 
  already been approved by the legislature.                                    
                                                                               
  Section #24  would end  service fee  payment by  non-members                 
  during  any  interim  between agreements.    In  addition to                 
  denying  funds  to  a  union at  the  time  when  collective                 
  bargaining expenditures are likely to be at their highest, a                 
  public employer wishing to break their  union could do so by                 
  protracting negotiations over a long period of time.                         
                                                                               
  Section  #25   would  exclude  temporary   or  non-permanent                 
  employees from the  definition of public employee,  thereby,                 
  denying  them  union  representation or  the  benefits  of a                 
  collective  bargaining  provision.    The  bill drafter  has                 
  stated that  the relationship  of these  employees, some  of                 
  whom work for the State or  political subdivisions for years                 
  before attaining permanent status to  the bargaining unit is                 
  "tangential".  The Department strongly disagrees.                            
                                                                               
  Section #27 adds new articles to PERA:                                       
                                                                               
       Article 3 goes beyond federal  law in giving non-member                 
       fee payers  a right  to vote  in contract  ratification                 
       elections or dues referendums.                                          
                                                                               
       Article 4 would  require extensive  reporting by  labor                 
       organizations to  the Commissioner of Labor of detailed                 
       information regarding all aspects of the organization's                 
       operations  and finances.    This  section allows  some                 
       exemptions  from  the   reporting  requirements  of  AS                 
       23.40.400 in which may rise issues of equal protection.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
       Article 6  contains the  fore-mentioned exemption  from                 
       reporting requirements  for unions  filing with  United                 
       States Department of Labor (USDOL) under LMRDA.                         
                                                                               
  Section #32 would grandfather existing political subdivision                 
  bargaining  units  from   the  fragmenting  effects.     The                 
  viability of this exemption in  future proceedings regarding                 
  unit  clarification or  challenges  is  unclear,  since  the                 
  Agency will presumably  be obliged to adhere  to the revised                 
  statute at that time.                                                        
                                                                               
                               17                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative J. Davies MOVED that work  draft, 0-LS0675\P,                 
  Cramer, 5/08/97, be the version before the Committee.  There                 
  being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                          
                                                                               
  JIM SAMPSON, MAYOR, FAIRBANKS NORTH STAR BOROUGH, FAIRBANKS,                 
  noted that the  proposed legislation  would cause long  term                 
  disruptions in  labor/management negotiations.   He  pointed                 
  out that the North Star Borough has been subject to the laws                 
  of  PERA since  the legislation  was introduced  twenty-five                 
  years ago.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Mr. Sampson warned that there has not been enough discussion                 
  with  public employers  covered by  the proposed act.   Many                 
  political subdivisions are not informed  that this debate is                 
  occurring.  Mr. Sampson believed  that the legislation would                 
  cause excessive fragmentation in  the bargaining units which                 
  will  cause  serious  problems  for  labor relations.    The                 
  legislation stills allows filing  of grievances by employees                 
  without going through the bargaining representatives.  As an                 
  employer,  one  does  not  want  to  deal with  hundreds  of                 
  individuals,    but    rather   an    exclusive   bargaining                 
  representative.                                                              
                                                                               
  Mr. Sampson respectfully disagreed with some of the findings                 
  in  the  bill;  specifically, the  one  which  eliminates or                 
  prevent  proper  practices   for  public  employers.     The                 
  legislation  would  limit  the  labor   board's  ability  to                 
  classify employees under the act.                                            
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder  pointed out  that Section  17 of  the                 
  legislation reference to  the FMCS.   Mr. Sampson  explained                 
  that originally, the State of  Alaska did not have qualified                 
  and trained arbitrators.   That  was twenty-five years  ago.                 
  At  the current  time,  the State  does  have the  resources                 
  necessary for  qualified arbitrations to occur without going                 
  outside  to  the Pacific  Northwest.   Alaska  has  used the                 
  Federal Mediation  Conciliation  Services  (FMCS)  list  for                 
  years.  Better decisions  could be made by hiring  people in                 
  Alaska who understand the issues locally.  He noted that the                 
  American   Arbitrator  Association   (AAA)   would  be   his                 
  preference as they  understand our  issues.   Representative                 
  Mulder noted that the  intent of the legislation was  how to                 
  select an arbitrator.                                                        
                                                                               
  Mr. Sampson stated  that Section 14  does make reference  to                 
  AAA.  He reiterated that the problem that the State has  had                 
  is that they do not  use arbitrators who live in  Alaska and                 
  which results in  lost arbitrations.   Mr. Sampson  stressed                 
  that the proposed legislation was a full employment bill for                 
  outside arbitrators.                                                         
                                                                               
                                                                               
                               18                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative  J.  Davies questioned  the  financial impact                 
  that the legislation would have  on the municipalities.  Mr.                 
  Sampson   responded   that   the  smaller   unit   political                 
  subdivisions would have much more  work in retaining counsel                 
  and  arguing   clarification  petitions,  often   ending  in                 
  litigation in Supreme Court.                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative J.  Davies recommended that the Department of                 
  Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA)  develop a fiscal note                 
  on  the  proposed legislation.   He  knew  that a  number of                 
  municipalities were not aware of  discussion on the proposed                 
  legislation and that it would  have a significant impact  on                 
  them.                                                                        
                                                                               
  Representative Kelly asked  if there were any  advantages in                 
  the   proposed  legislation.     Mr.  Sampson  replied  "not                 
  particularly".                                                               
                                                                               
  MIKE  MCMULLEN,  PERSONNEL MANAGER,  DIVISION  OF PERSONNEL,                 
  DEPARTMENT OF  ADMINISTRATION, noted  that the  Department's                 
  fiscal  note  had  not  been  passed  to the  House  Finance                 
  Committee from the  Senate Body.   That fiscal note  remains                 
  unchanged  in  both versions  of the  bill  and needs  to be                 
  attached.                                                                    
                                                                               
  He explained  that a new  bargaining unit would  be created.                 
  Forming a bargaining unit results  in submitting a petition.                 
  The Public Safety  Association filed such a  petition during                 
  an  open  period choosing  separate  officers as  a separate                 
  bargaining  unit.   The  labor  relations agency  heard that                 
  request and decided  that the  correctional officers have  a                 
  separate community  of interest.  Until the question of what                 
  a  unit  is  can  be  resolved,  no  election  date  can  be                 
  established.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative  Mulder inquired  if those  costs  were being                 
  paid  by the Department.   Mr. McMullen explained that there                 
  has been a flood of grievances.  Representative Mulder asked                 
  if  Commissioner  Boyer  had  developed  a  cost  of  living                 
  allowance (COLA) in the past two  years.  Mr. McMullen noted                 
  that  the   legislation   which   passed   established   the                 
  definition.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Mr. McMullen commented  that Amendment  #1 would remove  the                 
  items from the  bill which would cause the  Department extra                 
  work and the need for the fiscal note.  [Copy on file].                      
                                                                               
  (Tape Change HFC 97-132, Side 1).                                            
                                                                               
  In  response to  Representative  Martin's comment  regarding                 
  arbitration  selection,  Mr.   McMullen  agreed  with  Mayor                 
  Sampson  that  Alaska has  a  core of  qualified arbitrators                 
                                                                               
                               19                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  developed  over the past twenty-five  years.  He pointed out                 
  that the State does use Alaska  arbitrators.  He agreed that                 
  at the present time, the State could  exclusively use Alaska                 
  arbitrators.  Representative Martin supported that change.                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SB  151   (FIN)am  was   HELD  in   Committee  for   further                 
  consideration.                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 5:15 P.M.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
                               20                                              
**FIN129PM                                                                     

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