Legislature(1997 - 1998)

05/06/1997 04:08 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
               HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL                              
                  SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                  
                          May 6, 1997                                          
                           4:08 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Representative Con Bunde, Chairman                                            
 Representative Joe Green, Vice Chairman                                       
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
 Representative Brian Porter                                                   
 Representative Fred Dyson                                                     
 Representative J. Allen Kemplen                                               
 Representative Tom Brice                                                      
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 All members present                                                           
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 187                                                           
 "An Act relating to disclosure of public records identifying a                
 participant in the advance college tuition payment program;                   
 relating to the composition and assets of the Alaska advance                  
 college tuition payment fund; relating to administration of the               
 advance college tuition payment program; relating to advance                  
 college tuition payment contracts; and providing for an effective             
 date."                                                                        
                                                                               
      - MOVED SB 187 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                          
                                                                               
 CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 164(HES) am                                            
 "An Act relating to the authority of an emergency medical                     
 technician at the scene of an accident or emergency."                         
                                                                               
      - MOVED SCSSB 164(HES) am OUT OF COMMITTEE                               
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 149                                                           
 "An Act relating to reports and audits concerning health care                 
 facilities; and providing for an effective date."                             
                                                                               
      - MOVED SB 149 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                          
                                                                               
 CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 189(FIN)                                               
 "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."                                                       
                                                                               
      - MOVED SCSSB 189(FIN) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                  
 SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 164                                     
 "An Act providing that employment as a legislator or with the                 
 National Education Association is not credited service under the              
 teachers' retirement system; prohibiting membership in the                    
 teachers' retirement system for holders of limited certificates;              
 removing teachers holding limited certificates to teach Alaska                
 Native language or culture from membership in the teachers'                   
 retirement system; and repealing a provision permitting members of            
 the teachers' retirement system to count unused sick leave credit             
 as credited service."                                                         
                                                                               
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
                                                                               
 *HOUSE BILL NO. 169                                                           
 "An Act relating to welfare to work tax credits under the Alaska              
 Net Income Tax Act; and providing for an effective date."                     
                                                                               
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
                                                                               
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  SB 187                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: UNIVERSITY TUITION PAYMENT PROGRAM                               
 SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) WILKEN                                                 
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-DATE             ACTION                                      
 04/25/97      1483    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/25/97      1484    (S)   HES                                               
 04/28/97              (S)   HES AT  9:00 AM BUTROVICH ROOM 205                
 04/28/97      1509    (S)   HES RPT  5DP                                      
 04/28/97      1509    (S)   DP: WILKEN, LEMAN, WARD, ELLIS, GREEN             
 04/28/97      1510    (S)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (UA)                             
 04/29/97              (S)   RLS AT 10:45 AM FAHRENKAMP RM 203                 
 04/29/97      1543    (S)   RULES TO CALENDAR  4/29/97                        
 04/29/97      1549    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                              
 04/29/97      1549    (S)   ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT            
 04/29/97      1549    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME  SB 187                       
 04/29/97      1550    (S)   PASSED Y17 N- E3                                  
 04/29/97      1550    (S)   EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE                 
 04/29/97      1557    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                
 04/30/97              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 04/30/97              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 04/30/97      1394    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/30/97      1394    (H)   HES                                               
 05/01/97      1455    (H)   HES REFERRAL WAIVED/WITHDRAWN                     
 05/02/97              (H)   HES AT  3:30 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 05/02/97              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 05/06/97              (H)   HES AT  4:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  SB 164                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: AUTHORITY OF EMERGENCY MED TECHS                                 
 SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S)                                                        
 WILKEN,Lincoln,Mackie,Leman,Pearce,Green,Sharp,Taylor                         
 Kelly,Miller                                                                  
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-DATE             ACTION                                      
                                                                               
 04/09/97      1054    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/09/97      1054    (S)   HES                                               
 04/16/97              (S)   HES AT  9:00 AM BUTROVICH ROOM 205                
 04/16/97              (S)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 04/18/97              (S)   HES AT  9:00 AM BUTROVICH ROOM 205                
 04/18/97              (S)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 04/18/97      1274    (S)   HES RPT  CS  4DP         SAME TITLE               
 04/18/97      1275    (S)   DP: WILKEN, WARD, LEMAN, ELLIS                    
 04/18/97      1275    (S)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE TO SB & CS (DHSS)                
 04/22/97              (S)   RLS AT 10:45 AM FAHRENKAMP RM 203                 
 04/22/97      1385    (S)   RULES TO CALENDAR  4/22/97                        
 04/22/97      1423    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                              
 04/22/97      1423    (S)   HES  CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                      
 04/22/97      1423    (S)   PLACED AT BOTTOM OF CALENDAR                      
 04/22/97      1432    (S)   HELD IN SECOND READING TO 4/23/97 CAL             
 04/23/97      1449    (S)   AM NO  1     ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                 
 04/23/97      1449    (S)   ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT            
 04/23/97      1450    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME  CSSB 164(HES) AM             
 04/23/97      1450    (S)   COSPONSOR(S):  LINCOLN, MACKIE, LEMAN,            
 04/23/97      1450    (S)   PEARCE, GREEN, SHARP, TAYLOR,                     
 04/23/97      1450    (S)   KELLY, MILLER                                     
 04/23/97      1450    (S)   PASSED Y20 N-                                     
 04/23/97      1454    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                
 04/24/97      1317    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/24/97      1317    (H)   HES                                               
 05/02/97              (H)   HES AT  3:30 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 05/02/97              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 05/06/97              (H)   HES AT  4:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  SB 149                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: HEALTH CARE FACILITY AUDITS & REPORTS                            
 SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES BY REQUEST                    
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-DATE             ACTION                                      
 04/25/57              (S)   RLS AT 10:45 AM FAHRENKAMP RM 203                 
 03/24/97       833    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/24/97       833    (S)   HES, FIN                                          
 04/04/97              (S)   HES AT  9:00 AM BUTROVICH ROOM 205                
 04/04/97              (S)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 04/04/97       984    (S)   HES RPT  1DP 4NR                                  
 04/04/97       984    (S)   DP: WILKEN                                        
 04/04/97       984    (S)   NR:  WARD, LEMAN, ELLIS, GREEN                    
 04/04/97       984    (S)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DHSS)                           
 04/22/97              (S)   FIN AT  9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                
 04/22/97      1383    (S)   FIN RPT  6DP                                      
 04/22/97      1383    (S)   DP: PEARCE, SHARP, PHILLIPS, ADAMS                
 04/22/97      1383    (S)   DP: TORGERSON, DONLEY                             
 04/22/97      1384    (S)   PREVIOUS ZERO FN (DHSS)                           
 04/25/97              (S)   RLS AT 10:45 AM FAHRENKAMP RM 203                 
 04/25/97      1478    (S)   RULES TO CALENDAR  4/25/97                        
 04/25/97      1486    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                              
 04/25/97      1486    (S)   ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT            
 04/25/97      1486    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME  SB 149                       
 04/25/97      1487    (S)   PASSED Y19 N1                                     
 04/25/97      1487    (S)   EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE                 
 04/25/97      1495    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                
 04/28/97      1357    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/28/97      1357    (H)   HES, FINANCE                                      
 05/02/97              (H)   HES AT  3:30 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 05/02/97              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 05/06/97              (H)   HES AT  4:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  SB 189                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: EDUC.LOAN REPAYMNT\ELIG.; OCC. LIC.                              
 SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES BY REQUEST                    
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-DATE             ACTION                                      
 04/25/97      1484    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/25/97      1484    (S)   HES, FIN                                          
 04/30/97              (S)   HES AT  9:00 AM BUTROVICH ROOM 205                
 04/30/97      1568    (S)   HES RPT  4DP                                      
 04/30/97      1568    (S)   DP: WILKEN, LEMAN, ELLIS, GREEN                   
 04/30/97      1568    (S)   FISCAL NOTES (DOE-2, LABOR-2)                     
 04/30/97      1568    (S)   ZERO FISCAL NOTES (DCED, ADM, LABOR)              
 05/01/97              (S)   FIN AT  9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                
 05/01/97              (S)   MINUTE(FIN)                                       
 05/02/97              (S)   RLS AT  3:15 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203                 
 05/02/97      1644    (S)   FIN RPT  CS  4DP 2NR      SAME TITLE              
 05/02/97      1644    (S)   DP: SHARP, PEARCE, PHILLIPS, TORGERSON            
 05/02/97      1644    (S)   NR: PARNELL, DONLEY                               
 05/02/97      1644    (S)   PREVIOUS FNS APPLY (DOE-2, LABOR-2)               
 05/02/97      1644    (S)   PREVIOUS ZERO FNS APPLY (DCED, ADM,               
                             LAB)                                              
 05/05/97      1678    (S)   RULES TO CALENDAR  5/5/97                         
 05/05/97      1687    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                              
 05/05/97      1687    (S)   FIN  CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                      
 05/05/97      1688    (S)   ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT            
 05/05/97      1688    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME  CSSB 189(FIN)                
 05/05/97      1688    (S)   PASSED Y19 N- E1                                  
 05/05/97      1688    (S)   EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE                 
 05/05/97      1700    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                
 05/06/97              (H)   HES AT  4:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 164                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: TEACHERS RETIREMENT: ELIGIB. & SICK LEAVE                        
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) VEZEY                                           
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-DATE             ACTION                                      
 02/27/97       510    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/27/97       510    (H)   CRA, HES, STATE AFFAIRS                           
 03/10/97       607    (H)   SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-REFERRALS           
 03/10/97       607    (H)   CRA, HES, STATE AFFAIRS                           
 03/12/97              (H)   CRA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                       
 03/12/97              (H)   MINUTE(CRA)                                       
 03/19/97              (H)   CRA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                       
 03/19/97              (H)   MINUTE(CRA)                                       
 04/02/97              (H)   CRA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                       
 04/02/97              (H)   MINUTE(CRA)                                       
 04/07/97              (H)   CRA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                       
 04/07/97              (H)   MINUTE(CRA)                                       
 04/09/97              (H)   MINUTE(CRA)                                       
 04/11/97              (H)   CRA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                       
 04/11/97              (H)   MINUTE(CRA)                                       
 04/11/97      1077    (H)   CRA RPT  CS(CRA) NT 2DP 5NR                       
 04/11/97      1077    (H)   DP: SANDERS, KOOKESH                              
 04/11/97      1077    (H)   NR: OGAN, IVAN, DYSON, RYAN, JOULE                
 04/11/97      1078    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (ADM)                            
 04/11/97      1078    (H)   REFERRED TO HES                                   
 05/02/97              (H)   HES AT  3:30 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 05/02/97              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 05/06/97              (H)   HES AT  4:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 169                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: WELFARE TO WORK TAX CREDITS                                      
 SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                  
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-DATE             ACTION                                      
 03/05/97       543    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/05/97       543    (H)   HES, STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE                       
 03/05/97       543    (H)   INDETERMINATE FISCAL NOTE (DHSS)                  
 03/05/97       543    (H)   FISCAL NOTE (REV)                                 
 03/05/97       543    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (LABOR)                          
 03/05/97       543    (H)   GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                     
 05/02/97              (H)   HES AT  3:30 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 05/02/97              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 05/06/97              (H)   HES AT  4:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 ELIZABETH HAGEVIG, Legislative Assistant                                      
    to Senator Wilken                                                          
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 510                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3709                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided sponsor statement for                           
                      SCSSB 164(HES) am                                        
                                                                               
 TOM DEAN, Chief                                                               
 Emergency Medical Services of Tok                                             
 P.O. Box 811                                                                  
 Tok, Alaska  99780                                                            
 Telephone:  (907) 883-5873                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SCSSB 164(HES) am                
                                                                               
 MARK JOHNSON, Chief                                                           
 Community Health and Emergency Medical Services                               
 Division of Public Health                                                     
 Department of Health and Social Services                                      
 P.O. Box 110616                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0616                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3027                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SCSSB 164(HES) am                
                                                                               
 GARREY PESKA, Lobbyist                                                        
 Alaska State Hospital/Nursing Homes (ASHNHA)                                  
 319 Seward Street                                                             
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 586-1790                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 149                           
                                                                               
 JAY LIVEY, Deputy Commissioner                                                
 Office of the Commissioner                                                    
 Department of Health and Social Services                                      
 P.O. Box 110601                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0601                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3030                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 149                           
                                                                               
 MARTIN SCHULTZ, Assistant Attorney General                                    
 Government Affairs Section                                                    
 Civil Division                                                                
 Department of Law                                                             
 1031 West Fourth Avenue, Suite 200                                            
 Anchorage, Alaska  99501-1994                                                 
 Telephone:  (907) 269-5100                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SB 149                                      
                                                                               
 GLENN GUSTAFSON. Assistant Attorney General                                   
 Government Affairs Section                                                    
 Civil Division                                                                
 Department of Law                                                             
 1031 West Fourth Avenue, Suite 200                                            
 Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 269-5150                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SB 149                                      
                                                                               
 SHEILA PETERSON, Legislative Assistant                                        
    to Senator Wilken                                                          
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 510                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3762                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided sponsor statement on SCSSB 189(FIN)             
                                                                               
 DIANE BARRANS, Executive Director                                             
 Postsecondary Education Commission                                            
 Department of Education                                                       
 3030 Vintage Boulevard                                                        
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-7109                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-6740                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SCSSB 189(FIN)                   
                                                                               
 TERESA WILLIAMS, Assistant Attorney General                                   
 Fair Business Practices Section                                               
 Civil Division                                                                
 Department of Law                                                             
 1031 West Fourth Avenue, Suite 200                                            
 Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 269-5150                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SCSSB 189(FIN)                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR GARY WILKEN                                                           
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 510                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3762                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SCSSB 189(FIN)                                
                                                                               
 BILL CHURCH, Retirement and Benefits Manager                                  
 Division of Retirement and Benefits                                           
 Department of Administration                                                  
 P.O. Box 110203                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0203                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4460                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 164                                      
                                                                               
 JOHN CYR, President                                                           
 National Education Association-Alaska (NEA-Alaska)                            
 114 Second Street                                                             
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 586-3090                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 164                                 
                                                                               
 JIM NORDLUND, Director                                                        
 Division of Public Assistance                                                 
 Department of Health and Social Services                                      
 P.O. Box 110640                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0640                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3347                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 169                                      
                                                                               
 JOSEPH FRIEDMAN, Director                                                     
 Trade Dollar Exchange                                                         
 3820 Lake Otis                                                                
 Anchorage, Alaska  99508                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 562-8300                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 169                           
                                                                               
 ANGELA SALERNO, Executive Director                                            
 National Association of Social Workers of Alaska (NASW)                       
 525 Main Street                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 586-4438                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 169                           
                                                                               
 BOB BARTHOLOMEW, Deputy Director                                              
 Income and Excise Audit Division                                              
 Department of Revenue                                                         
 P.O. Box 110420                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99501-0420                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2320                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 169                                      
                                                                               
 PAM LaBOLLE, President                                                        
 Alaska Chamber of Commerce                                                    
 217 Second Street                                                             
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 586-2323                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 169                           
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-42, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 0000                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN CON BUNDE called the House Health, Education and Social              
 Services Standing Committee meeting to order at 4:08 p.m.  Members            
 present at the call to order were Representatives Bunde, Vezey,               
 Dyson and Kemplen.  Representative Porter arrived at 4:14 p.m.                
 Representatives Green and Brice arrived at 4:17 p.m.  This meeting            
 was teleconferenced to Anchorage, Mat-Su and Tok.                             
 SB 187 - UNIVERSITY TUITION PAYMENT PROGRAM                                 
                                                                               
 Number 0032                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE announced the first item on the agenda was SB 187,             
 "An Act relating to disclosure of public records identifying a                
 participant in the advance college tuition payment program;                   
 relating to the composition and assets of the Alaska advance                  
 college tuition payment fund; relating to administration of the               
 advance college tuition payment program; relating to advance                  
 college tuition payment contracts; and providing for an effective             
 date."  He stated that the committee had heard the House companion            
 bill.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 0065                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY made a motion to move SB 187 with                     
 individual recommendations and attached fiscal note.  Hearing no              
 objection SB 187 was moved out of the House Health, Education and             
 Social Services Standing Committee.                                           
 SCSSB 164(HES) am - AUTHORITY OF EMERGENCY MED TECHS                        
                                                                               
 Number 0087                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN announced the next item on the agenda was SCSSB
 164(HES) am "An Act relating to the authority of an emergency                 
 medical technician at the scene of an accident or emergency."                 
                                                                               
 Number 0124                                                                   
                                                                               
 ELIZABETH HAGEVIG, Legislative Assistant to Senator Wilken, read              
 the sponsor statement.  She said SCSSB 164(HES) am repairs a long             
 overdue shortcoming in our public safety network.  Specifically, it           
 provides Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's), who belong to an              
 ambulance service or a first responder service, with appropriate              
 and relevant authority at the scene of an accident or other medical           
 crisis, without creating potential conflict between emergency                 
 personnel.  This bill is intended to protect EMT's who arrive first           
 on the scene of an accident or medical emergency, or who are the              
 only emergency responders to arrive for some time, as is the case             
 in many rural areas.                                                          
                                                                               
 MS. HAGEVIG explained that currently, we ask EMT's to perform                 
 duties necessary to their job without giving them the proper legal            
 authority to do so.  Such duties include: controlling and directing           
 activities at the scene of an accident; temporarily blocking or               
 redirecting traffic to avoid the scene of an accident; trespassing            
 upon property in order to respond to an emergency call; entering a            
 building, including a private residence, or premises where report             
 of an injury or illness has taken place; and directing the removal            
 or destruction of a motor vehicle or other things in order to                 
 prevent further harm to injured or ill individuals.                           
                                                                               
 MS. HAGEVIG added that this legislation also works in concert with            
 existing statutes, specifically AS 18.08.086, to add the scene                
 control duties mentioned in SB 164 under the immunity from                    
 liability statute.  Because the duties mentioned above are part of            
 the overall pursuit of providing "emergency medical services," they           
 would automatically apply for immunity from liability under AS                
 18.08.086 which frees EMT's from liability while "(administering)             
 emergency medical services."  Alaska relies heavily on its                    
 emergency medical personnel, especially in rural areas where law              
 enforcement and fire personnel are relatively few in numbers.  Just           
 as we expect EMT's to protect our safety in an emergency situation,           
 we should reciprocate this service, and give EMT's the proper legal           
 authority to do their jobs without compromising their personal                
 safety.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 0313                                                                   
                                                                               
 TOM DEAN, Chief, Emergency Medical Services , testified next via              
 teleconference from Tok.  He said two years ago he found out that             
 EMT's did not have the legal protection to do what they do.  This             
 bill will not make any changes in what they do, but will give EMT's           
 legal authority and protection.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0380                                                                   
                                                                               
 MARK JOHNSON, Chief, Community Health and Emergency Medical                   
 Services, Division of Public Health, Department of Health and                 
 Social Services, said SCSSB 164(HES) am gives EMT's the same                  
 authority that fire officers currently have in state statute.                 
                                                                               
 Number 0419                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON referred to line 8, page 2, and asked               
 when it was necessary for EMT's to destroy a motor vehicle.                   
                                                                               
 Number 0380                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. JOHNSON answered that it was sometimes necessary to remove a              
 person from a vehicle.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 0462                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked if this language was definitive.                   
                                                                               
 Number 0477                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE asked what other language could be used to cover all           
 situations.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 0545                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON felt that the word, "damage," could be used.             
                                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0561                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. DEAN commented that, in situations where they need to get a               
 victim out of a vehicle, the vehicle is pretty well destroyed                 
 anyway.  In instances where a person is caught in machinery, the              
 machinery needs to be damaged in order to treat that person.                  
                                                                               
 Number 0615                                                                   
 MS. HAGEVIG explained that this question did not come up before,              
 but the language included in the bill was directly taken from the             
 statute providing authority to fire fighters.                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER made a motion to move SCSSB 164(HES)              
 am, version \B.a from committee with individual recommendations and           
 zero fiscal note.  Hearing no objection SCSSB 164(HES) am  was                
 moved from the House Health, Education and Social Services Standing           
 Committee.                                                                    
 SB 149 - HEALTH CARE FACILITY AUDITS & REPORTS                              
                                                                               
 Number 0749                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE announced the next item on the agenda was SB 149,              
 "An Act relating to reports and audits concerning health care                 
 facilities; and providing for an effective date."                             
                                                                               
 Number 0771                                                                   
                                                                               
 GARREY PESKA, Lobbyist, Alaska State Hospital/Nursing Homes                   
 (ASHNHA), said that several proposed decisions by hearing officers            
 have called into question whether or not Medicaid audits may be               
 used to set hospital rates for Medicaid reimbursement.  Federal law           
 requires that the state perform audits of hospitals for Medicaid              
 purposes.  They believe SB 149 is necessary to allow this process             
 to work properly and they support the bill.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 0811                                                                   
                                                                               
 JAY LIVEY, Deputy Commissioner, Office of the Commissioner,                   
 Department of Health and Social Services, stated that the                     
 Administration has worked with ASHNHA on this bill and also support           
 SB 149.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 0833                                                                   
                                                                               
 MARTIN SCHULTZ, Assistant Attorney General, Government Affairs                
 Section, Civil Division, Department of Law, testified next via                
 teleconference from Anchorage.  He represents the Department of               
 Health and Social Services (DHSS) in some of the litigation                   
 referred to by Mr. Peska.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 0824                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE asked him if he saw any problems with SB 149 and its           
 aims.                                                                         
                                                                               
 MR. SCHULTZ answered that SB 149 was a good bill.  Medicaid is a              
 federal/state matching fund program which means that the state                
 needs to conform to federal law.  Federal law requires Medicaid               
 audits.  Audits produce accurate and useful information based on              
 the historical costs of the facility.  Medicaid rates are based on            
 these historic rates.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 0900                                                                   
                                                                               
 GLENN GUSTAFSON, Assistant Attorney General, Government Affairs               
 Section, Civil Division, Department of Law, testified next via                
 teleconference from Anchorage.  He represents Medicaid agency staff           
 in the administrative proceedings where subject rulings are issued            
 by the hearing examiner.                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 0935                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON made a motion to move SB 149 out of committee            
 with individual recommendations and zero fiscal note.  Hearing no             
 objection SB 149 was moved from the House Health, Education and               
 Social Services Standing Committee.                                           
 SCSSB 189(FIN) - EDUC.LOAN REPAYMNT\ELIG.; OCC. LIC.                        
                                                                               
 Number 0960                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE announced the next item on the agenda was SCSSB
 189(FIN), "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."                                             
                                                                               
 Number 0965                                                                   
                                                                               
 SHEILA PETERSON, Legislative Assistant to Senator Wilken, explained           
 that Senator Wilken was a member of the Senate Finance Subcommittee           
 on Education.  As a member he reviewed the Alaska Commission on               
 Postsecondary Education which services a large number of loans,               
 approximately $60 million to $70 million this year.  The amount of            
 loans in default is about 18 percent.  The bill will make the                 
 Alaska Commission of Postsecondary Education more stable and                  
 businesslike.  It provides the necessary financial tools to                   
 effectively and efficiently reduce the number of loans that are in            
 default.  Currently the average age of the loan applicant is 27-              
 years-old, these people are in the work place and should be                   
 responsible for paying back their loans.                                      
                                                                               
 MS. PETERSON said that Smith-Barney reviewed the commission and               
 made several recommendations; some of which are embodied in SCSSB
 189(FIN).  Senator Wilken wanted the committee to realize that when           
 Smith-Barney reviewed the commission's work they indicated that a             
 majority of the commission's time is spent on servicing loans that            
 are in default.  It is hoped that with passage of SCSSB 189(FIN),             
 these loans will be under control and the loan program can be                 
 available to the next generation of Alaskans.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 1094                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE J. ALLEN KEMPLEN asked how the program of non-                 
 renewal for occupational licenses worked.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 1104                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. PETERSON answered that the program was patterned after the                
 child support enforcement program.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 1151                                                                   
                                                                               
 DIANE BARRANS, Executive Director, Postsecondary Education                    
 Commission, Department of Education, said the commission is                   
 supportive of this legislation.  Commission staff were asked to               
 identify some effective tools in other student loan programs for              
 collection of defaulted loans.   These tools are referenced in the            
 bill before the committee.  She explained that occupational                   
 licenses are renewed on about a three year cycle.  The licenses, on           
 which the commission currently intervenes, are administered by the            
 Division of Occupational Licensing.  The commission sends a notice,           
 at least four to six months in advance of a licensee's renewal                
 date, to let them know that there is a problem with their student             
 loan which could interfere with the reissuance of their license.              
 The commission then works with the borrowers to try to come into              
 compliance with some payment arrangement if they are not in the               
 position of fully paying the amount in arrears.  This program has             
 proven itself effective.  This bill would expand this program to              
 include teachers who are licensed by the Department of Education              
 and some occupational licenses that are handled by the Department             
 of Labor.  Anyone licensed to practice an occupation by the state             
 of Alaska would have to repay their Alaska student loan debt.                 
                                                                               
 Number 1260                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN asked if the commission received many                  
 complaints about this process.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 1264                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. BARRANS answered that the commission did not receive many                 
 complaints, but the few complaints they received were loud.  Those            
 who decided to fight this process, rather than comply with it, felt           
 very strongly that their student loan debt and their default status           
 should not be something which should keep them from being licensed            
 by the state.  This program encourages borrowers to stay in good              
 standing with their loan.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 1297                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN asked how many people were affected by this            
 process.                                                                      
 Number 1302                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. BARRANS believed that, within the last year and a half that               
 this process was used, it involved fewer than 150 individuals.  Of            
 those individuals, all but 19 have managed to come to some                    
 repayment agreement.  She stated that she would send exact figures            
 to the committee as she was relying on memory.                                
                                                                               
 Number 1335                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE cited an example from when he served on the                    
 commission.  One appeal involved a gentlemen who had suffered a               
 head injury, had completed at least two undergraduate degrees and             
 perhaps one or two postgraduate degrees.  This person claimed an              
 exemption from having to repay his loan because of the head injury.           
 He expressed concern that the loan program will be gone in six to             
 eight years if the default rate is not stopped.  The commission               
 does not take in as much money as is paid out.                                
                                                                               
 Number 1383                                                                   
                                                                               
 TERESA WILLIAMS, Assistant Attorney General, Fair Business                    
 Practices Section, Civil Division, Department of Law, testified               
 next via teleconference from Anchorage.  She said this bill is                
 legally defensible, it is an excellent bill.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 1395                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE asked Ms. Barrans to give a brief comparison between           
 the requirements to apply for and receive a student loan now and              
 how the process would change under SCSSB 189(FIN).                            
                                                                               
 Number 1421                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. BARRANS explained that the process won't noticeably change in             
 the paperwork completed by the loan applicant.  Applicants fill out           
 forms, they are sent to the commission and the applicants are                 
 notified about whether or not they have received an award.  The               
 bill would add a credit assessment to that process.  The commission           
 feels this process would be relatively inexpensive and could be               
 done electronically.  If the commission finds that the borrower has           
 an egregious bad credit history, the commission would offer them              
 the opportunity to have a credit worthy co-signer on their note.              
                                                                               
 MS. BARRANS added that the commission aggressively pursues                    
 defaulted borrowers, but these are unsecured loans with nothing               
 tangible for the commission to repossess.  The commission relies on           
 tools such as the Permanent Fund Dividend garnishment which has               
 proven to be very effective.  In addition, the commission sends out           
 written correspondence and makes phone calls.  This bill would                
 allow the commission to expand their use of the professional and              
 occupational licensing tool and to do an administrative wage                  
 garnishment.  Currently the commission can go through the full                
 legal court process of getting a judgement against someone in order           
 to get a garnishment of wages.  As this is expensive and time                 
 consuming, collection agencies will often look at the size of the             
 debt and make a judgmental decision of whether or not it is worth             
 the cost.  The commission would be able to do it across the board,            
 through the administrative wage garnishment process.                          
                                                                               
 Number 1520                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE asked about the future notification regarding the              
 changes in the promissory note.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 1528                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. BARRANS answered that the commission wants to provide due                 
 notice up front whenever possible and use this as a disincentive              
 for borrowers to fall into delinquency status.  She pointed out               
 that there is a provision in SCSSB 189(FIN) which would allow a               
 half percent interest increase.  This increase would not go into              
 effect until the 1998-1999 school year as the commission is well              
 into the application process for the 1997-1998 school year.  The              
 current interest rate is 8.6 percent.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 1557                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE asked if the 8.6 percent was contingent on the prime           
 plus rate.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1564                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. BARRANS answered that it is the average interest rate which the           
 commission is paying on all of the bonds that are outstanding.                
 Whatever the corporation is paying, the commission charges the                
 average of that plus a 2.5 percent administrative add-on.                     
                                                                               
 Number 1574                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE clarified that this amount did not pay for all of              
 the administrative costs.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 1580                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN presented a scenario where someone is                  
 working in an occupation that requires a license.  This person runs           
 into a difficult time in life and they end up in arrears for six              
 months or more.  He asked how the commission would accommodate that           
 type of situation.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 1631                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. BARRANS explained that there are a number of provisions to deal           
 with those real life situations.  The key is having the borrower              
 contact the commission before they are in arrears.  If someone is             
 struggling to make payments, the commission would contact them                
 through the due diligence process.  There are unemployment                    
 deferments, medical deferments and other mechanisms in place to               
 provide protection to someone in that situation.  If that person              
 fails to communicate with the commission, they could find                     
 themselves in a position of having lost a number of those                     
 protections found within their promissory note.  If someone filed             
 for bankruptcy, the commission ceases all repayment or collection             
 on those accounts.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 1685                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE asked for a chronology of what the commission does             
 when a payment is overdue.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1690                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. BARRANS answered that the commission has an automated roster              
 system with staff who focus on communicating with delinquent or               
 defaulted borrowers.  These staff focus on making phone calls and             
 getting written correspondence out.  The monthly billing statement            
 continues to go out indicative of the growing seriousness of their            
 arrearage.  Additionally, due diligence letters are sent when the             
 borrower is two months past due.   These type of letters continue             
 every 30 days at the same time.  Telephone contact is made to the             
 borrower.  In a given month the commission will make about 6,000              
 phone calls to those borrowers who are delinquent and heading                 
 towards default.  There is a serious attempt to avert the crisis              
 point on the loan.                                                            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE announced the presence of Senator Wilken.                      
                                                                               
 Number 1743                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER commented that, in his experience with law              
 enforcement, 10 percent of people could not be rehabilitated.  He             
 noted that this same number applied to people who defaulted on                
 their loans.  He mentioned that his children all used this program            
 and that he hoped the program was around so that his grandchildren            
 could use it as well.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 1798                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON made a motion to move SCSSB 189(FIN) out of              
 committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal                 
 notes.  Hearing no objections SCSSB 189(FIN) was moved from the               
 House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee.               
 HB 164 - TEACHERS RETIREMENT: ELIGIB. & SICK LEAVE                          
                                                                               
 Number 1824                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE announced the next item on the agenda was HB 164,              
 "An Act providing that employment as a legislator or with the                 
 National Education Association is not credited service under the              
 teachers' retirement system; prohibiting membership in the                    
 teachers' retirement system for holders of limited certificates;              
 removing teachers holding limited certificates to teach Alaska                
 Native language or culture from membership in the teachers'                   
 retirement system; and repealing a provision permitting members of            
 the teachers' retirement system to count unused sick leave credit             
 as credited service."                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY, Sponsor of HB 164, said the bill is a                
 result of the review of the annual report of the teacher retirement           
 system (TRS).  A statute provides that a person who is a member of            
 TRS may elect to continue participating in TRS if they become an              
 elected legislator.  He felt this was a legislative privilege.  The           
 TRS is substantially different from the Public Employee Retirement            
 System (PERS) as it costs more money and accrues more benefits at             
 a faster rate.  He felt this inequity should be removed from the              
 statute.                                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said HB 164 also removes the ability of                  
 National Education Association-Alaska (NEA-Alaska) members to                 
 participate in TRS.  He understood that NEA-Alaska did not object             
 to this language.  He added that there is also a statutory mandate            
 which local school districts grant to teachers of the option, at no           
 cost to the teacher, of taking their unused sick leave and having             
 the employee's and the employer's contribution rates to accumulate            
 additional retirement benefits.  He did not feel it was in the best           
 interest of the local school district to continue this mandate.  He           
 felt the school districts were perfectly capable of bargaining                
 these units with the teachers.  Taking this provision out of                  
 statute would return more control to the local school districts.              
                                                                               
 Number 1938                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE declared his conflict as he was a teacher and now he           
 is a legislator.  He asked Mr. Church how former teachers would be            
 impacted by HB 164.                                                           
                                                                               
 BILL CHURCH, Retirement and Benefits Manager, Division of                     
 Retirement and Benefits, Department of Administration, explained              
 that anyone hired into TRS before passage of HB 164 would still be            
 covered in the same way.  It would only affect those individuals              
 who are enrolled in TRS after the passage of HB 164.  Those                   
 individuals would begin to accrue credit under PERS and would not             
 being accruing credit under TRS.                                              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE asked if someone who was currently a teacher and               
 then is elected to the legislature would go into PERS as compared             
 to the current system where a teacher, elected to the legislature,            
 continues in the TRS system.                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 1973                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CHURCH answered that the person could elect to continue in TRS.           
                                                                               
 Number 2012                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that if you are participating under               
 TRS, then a 2 percent or a 2.25 percent retirement amount is being            
 accrued based on the salary of a teacher as compared to the                   
 legislative salary.  A legislator who is accruing money in the TRS            
 system is accruing 2.5 times as much as other legislators.                    
                                                                               
 Number 2030                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CHURCH explained that under PERS an individual will accrue                
 benefits at 2 percent for the first ten years, 2.25 percent for the           
 second ten years and 2.5 percent for each year over 20 years.  In             
 TRS, it is 2 percent for the first 20 years and then 2.5 percent              
 for each year of accrual after the 20 years.  The benefit will be             
 based on the average of the high three salaries in TRS.  Presently            
 a new employee would have their benefit based on the average of the           
 high five consecutive years.  The PERS has increased multipliers so           
 at the end of the 20 years you have little bit higher percentage              
 base.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 2069                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked about obtaining credit at service time            
 for cashing in unused sick leave.  He asked if this was sick leave            
 that did not have a cash value in the first place.                            
                                                                               
 Number 2079                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CHURCH was not sure whether or not there was a cash value                 
 within each district.  This is unused sick leave which is not                 
 cashed out, it is on the books at the time that the member retires.           
 This sick leave may be claimed by the teacher.                                
                                                                               
 Number 2096                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if there were other bargaining units              
 which had that provision.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 2098                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CHURCH answered that he was not aware of any others.                      
                                                                               
 Number 2101                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE asked if the terminology had changed, if it had gone           
 from sick leave to personal leave or if it depended on the school             
 district.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 2107                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CHURCH explained that there is a difference between sick leave,           
 annual leave and the personal leave concept.  Personal leave rolls            
 in both annual and sick leave.  There is a higher accrual rate and            
 the leave can be used for any purpose.  All of this leave can be              
 cashed-out on separation of state service.  He stated that there is           
 a cash value for personal leave.  The state system allows a person            
 to cash-out their annual leave upon termination, but the sick leave           
 is lost.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 2132                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN asked how long it would take a person to be            
 vested in the PERS system.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 2162                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CHURCH answered that it took five years to be vested in the               
 PERS system for retirement benefits.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 2192                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN clarified that a representative would have             
 to be elected for three terms in order to be vested.  He felt there           
 was a disincentive to run for office if a person only wanted to               
 serve for two terms.                                                          
                                                                               
 MR. CHURCH mentioned that elected officials could choose whether or           
 not they wanted to participate in PERS.  A person could choose to             
 continue in TRS, working after session for a semester with their              
 district.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 2221                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE commented that if this person worked for the                   
 university there is a strong constitutional prohibition against               
 continuing their work while they are a legislator.                            
                                                                               
 MR. CHURCH added that this was also applicable for a legislator               
 working for the state.                                                        
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-42, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 0000                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN said it was a disincentive for teachers to             
 run for public office, unless they planned on being there long                
 enough to become vested in PERS.                                              
 Number 0014                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CHURCH explained that is certainly would depend on how many               
 years the teacher had already accrued in TRS.  It takes eight years           
 to vest in TRS.  If a person has 20 years of teaching in Alaska,              
 they are eligible for retirement benefits.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 0044                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE asked whether or not the employer had to match                 
 contributions for sick leaves used as retirement credit and, if               
 this was the case, why wasn't there be a positive fiscal note.                
                                                                               
 Number 0081                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY explained that the statute calls for the                 
 employer, who is not the state of Alaska, to pay.  This would not             
 benefit the state financially.  The statute calls for the employer            
 to pay both the employee's and the employer's contribution.  A                
 person could debate that there would be a savings by the school               
 district because they would be free to negotiate how to use that              
 resource.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 0123                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CHURCH said the division had asked their actuary to look at               
 what would happen to the funding ratio if the unused sick leave               
 provision was eliminated.  The actuary estimated that the future              
 contribution rate would be reduced by .36 over the next 25 years,             
 which would decrease employer contributions by approximately                  
 $200,000 at the end of 25 years.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 0158                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the contribution rate of .36 was the            
 past or current service rate.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 0164                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CHURCH answered that this would be under the normal cost.  It             
 is part of the actuarial assumptions that go into establishing                
 normal cost (Indisc.-coughing).                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0177                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE mentioned that the actuarial impact of HB 164 would            
 have no positive or negative impact on TRS.                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CHURCH answered that this would be correct.  After 25 years               
 there would be a decrease of .36.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 0205                                                                   
 JOHN CYR, President, National Education Association-Alaska (NEA-              
 Alaska), stated that his organization is in opposition to HB 164.             
 Currently, there is one member of NEA-Alaska in TRS who is                    
 grandfathered-in and will continue to participate whether or not              
 this bill passes.  He explained that NEA-Alaska has been out of TRS           
 for a number of years.                                                        
                                                                               
 MR. CYR felt it was wrong to set one class of public employees                
 apart from another class.  He presented a scenario where someone              
 taught for 17 years and then ran for political office.  If that               
 person won, they would lose as they would have to wait until they             
 reached age 55 to get retirement.  A person employed by that                  
 school, who was not a teacher, would be able to continue in PERS.             
 He felt this was a disincentive to public service.                            
                                                                               
 Number 0343                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CYR referred back to the time when schools were state operated,           
 the legislature, through statute, found sick leave to be a benefit            
 provided for teachers and for their districts.  This sick leave has           
 always been credited for retirement.  Teachers do not collect                 
 annual leave or any of the other types of leave that PERS employees           
 receive.  A teacher can lose their job or their certificate if they           
 misuse sick leave.  The amount of money that has been set aside for           
 teachers is an earned benefit, used towards retirement.  This is a            
 proper use of the state's resource and it provides a benefit to the           
 districts, to children and to the membership.  To put this benefit            
 into an area to be bargained, district by district, is unworkable.            
 He was not sure that the districts can bargain sections of the                
 state retirement system.  The state might not want individual                 
 districts bargaining for a provision that is owned by the state.              
                                                                               
 MR. CYR added that secondarily, his organization does not know how            
 it would work even if it could be done.  Teachers have bargained              
 half a dozen contracts.  Every time a contract was bargained, there           
 would be the potential of having a different group of people                  
 working in the same system who would be covered under a different             
 way for sick leave.  Alaska is a transient state.  People move from           
 district to district.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 0506                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CYR felt HB 164 should not be passed.  Teachers have a                    
 retirement system which is financially sound with a good retirement           
 board.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 0524                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON questioned whether or not HB 164 would be a              
 disincentive for a teacher to run for the legislature.  He asked              
 how it would be more of a disincentive than someone in another                
 profession.  He did not know of any professions which would allow             
 someone to become a legislator and continue their retirement                  
 benefits.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 0560                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CYR explained that there is a difference between a public and             
 a private sector employee.  A private sector employee is free to              
 charge as much as they can for the services they provide.  He                 
 mentioned that many legislators choose to continue their own                  
 business outside of the legislature, accruing the benefits of their           
 retirement package.  Public service employees do not have that                
 luxury.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 0612                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON felt that teachers could choose to work in               
 whatever district had the best schools, the best living                       
 environment, the best wages or the best benefits.  People could go            
 other places to teach, just as private employees can go to other              
 places to work.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0655                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CYR stated that he is familiar with the facts and figures about           
 the salaries of Alaskan teachers.  Nevertheless, this bill takes              
 away the TRS incentive to become a legislator and remain in TRS.              
 An employee who is in PERS can choose to remain in PERS when they             
 become a legislator.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 0694                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked why that group should have a better deal           
 than 99 percent of employees in the state who are working in the              
 private sector.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0703                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CYR felt that this bill punishes a class of public employees              
 for some very specific reasons and this was patently wrong.                   
 General conclusions can be drawn between the public and the private           
 sector of where it should fit, how it should move, how the public             
 sector should be compensated and what the retirement benefits                 
 should be across the board.  He felt this was an apples and oranges           
 issue.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 0750                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON felt the state has been rewarding one group.             
                                                                               
 Number 0773                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER expressed surprise at the spectrum of                   
 benefits which have been accrued by state employees.  When he left            
 his former job he couldn't continue his retirement system.  He did            
 not feel that all public employees had the ability to continue in             
 their retirement system.  He clarified that a PERS employee could             
 continue their retirement system while they served as a legislator.           
                                                                               
 Number 0823                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CYR believed this statement to be true.  Legislators have the             
 option to remain in PERS if they were a former state employee.                
                                                                               
 Number 0831                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER did not feel this was appropriate.                      
                                                                               
 Number 0836                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE clarified that legislators can choose to be under              
 PERS.  He asked for information on the Anchorage School District.             
                                                                               
 Number 0880                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CYR explained that some school districts have bargained                   
 personal leave, they will have four or five days of leave which can           
 be used for personal absences.  He did not know of any district               
 which has wrapped those two kinds of leave together into sick                 
 leave.  Sick leave is provided by statute, 13 days per year.  This            
 sick leave transfers from district to district.                               
                                                                               
 Number 0930                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE announced that this is the first time the committee            
 has heard HB 164 and it will be held in order to find out what                
 various districts do with their sick leave policies.                          
 HB 169 - WELFARE TO WORK TAX CREDITS                                        
                                                                               
 Number 0963                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE announced the next item on the agenda was HB 169,              
 "An Act relating to welfare to work tax credits under the Alaska              
 Net Income Tax Act; and providing for an effective date."                     
                                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0967                                                                   
                                                                               
 JIM NORDLUND, Director, Division of Public Assistance, Department             
 of Health and Social Services, stated that his division has a large           
 responsibility to do in finding work opportunities for 4,000                  
 individuals in the upcoming year.  The division sees HB 169 as one            
 of several tools which can be used to give employers the incentive            
 to hire welfare recipients.  This piece of legislation has had                
 input from the Department of Revenue (DOR), Department of Law (DOL)           
 and the Department of Administration.                                         
                                                                               
 MR. NORDLUND explained that HB 169 targets welfare recipients and             
 disadvantaged workers which include disabled persons receiving                
 vocational rehabilitation, veterans receiving public assistance and           
 ex-felons who are in low income families.  The bill would assist              
 recipients in finding work opportunities.  The Anchorage Chamber of           
 Commerce, the Alaska Chamber of Commerce, large and small employers           
 have been approached about this type of legislation and those                 
 groups were all supportive of a tax credit.  They see HB 169 as a             
 measure which would provide some incentive for them to hire                   
 recipients.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1069                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. NORDLUND commented that HB 169 piggybacks on the federal tax              
 credit bill.  This will assist employers with the administrative              
 burden of applying for the credit.  It is a relatively simple                 
 procedure to extend the credit that they would be getting on their            
 federal income tax and apply it to their state income tax.  He said           
 HB 169 will have some state treasury costs, but it will yield                 
 greater benefits in terms of getting welfare recipients employed              
 and off public assistance.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1118                                                                   
                                                                               
 JOSEPH FRIEDMAN, Director, Trade Dollar Exchange, testified next              
 via teleconference from Anchorage.  He was in support of HB 169 as            
 it is an excellent opportunity to provide corporations with a tax             
 credit and an incentive to participate in welfare to work issues.             
 He said the Trade Dollar Exchange is a private industry initiative            
 to involve small businesses in welfare to work programs.  The Trade           
 Dollar Exchange uses a system of bartering under the Tax Equity and           
 Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982.  This act essentially says that            
 if a business trades or barters, the income on their tax returns is           
 tax deductible when spent on business expenses.  Coupled with the             
 federal work opportunities tax credit, this would provide a                   
 tremendous opportunity for the exchange to encourage businesses to            
 be involved in hiring people going from welfare to work.  He stated           
 that there is a large number of workers who do not have the skills            
 to compete at the current level of participation in the job market.           
 He proposed an amendment which would provide a disregard for the              
 Trade Dollar Exchange currency as it affects the earned income                
 status for people receiving a cash benefit through the department.            
                                                                               
 Number 1258                                                                   
                                                                               
 ANGELA SALERNO, Executive Director, National Association of Social            
 Workers of Alaska (NASW), said that she was formerly employed as a            
 job developer.  She worked in the private sector for a company that           
 contracted for Job Training Partnership Act dollars (JTPA) and, as            
 a result, has some experience in the use of tax incentives as a way           
 to assist candidates seeking work.  This will help people get off             
 welfare and into a work situation.  The company used the Targeted             
 Job Tax Credit, the federal tax credit.  As a job developer it was            
 advantageous for her to walk into an employer's office and state              
 that not only is the candidate well-trained, but here is a tangible           
 financial incentive.  This incentive often shifted the balance for            
 the employers because the candidate did not always appear to be the           
 best candidate.  She felt this would be the case for many of the              
 people who need to placed into work situation.  These people may              
 have less experience, a checkered job history or something else.              
 This incentive might be the needed impetus for that employer to               
 hire this employee.                                                           
                                                                               
 MS. SALERNO explained that the employee would need to be on the job           
 for a full six months before the employer received this incentive.            
 This type of incentive will work.  It is one of the few things that           
 the state is doing to actually help welfare recipients find work.             
                                                                               
 Number 1361                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the state was subsidizing the cost of           
 having an employee.  He stated that this is not a substitute for              
 creating jobs.  Employers are not going to manufacture jobs in                
 order to get 15 percent of what they spend.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1396                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. SALERNO agreed and said HB 169 doesn't address this issue at              
 all.  This bill is going at the problem from a different angle. A             
 financial incentive is another way to shift the balance to someone            
 who may have a deficit in their ability find work.                            
                                                                               
 Number 1433                                                                   
                                                                               
 BOB BARTHOLOMEW, Deputy Director, Income and Excise Audit Division,           
 Department of Revenue, stated that the bigger spectrum was taken              
 into consideration when developing the welfare to work tax credit.            
 There are four or five bills in the legislature this year to try to           
 do what Representative Vezey suggested, creating new jobs.  He                
 mentioned HB 63 and another small business tax credit as attempts             
 to create these new jobs.  Other bills tried to look at the other             
 angle, HB 169 was meant to be one of many tools.                              
                                                                               
 Number 1487                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. BARTHOLOMEW stated that the potential loss would be $1 million            
 based on trying to put an estimated 880 people to work.  The other            
 component of HB 169 is that the state adopts the federal work                 
 incentive bill.  This bill repeals the federal program in order to            
 adopt a state program.  Under the current tax, if an employee is              
 hired in another state, employers can get tax credits off the                 
 Alaska tax.  Business apportion their credit to their state taxes.            
 This bill, HB 169, takes out that provision and no longer                     
 recognizes the federal credit.  If a business hired someone in                
 Alaska, they would get a federal tax credit as well as a state                
 credit.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 1557                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE asked him to speculate on the net gain, what is the            
 cost to keep 880 people on welfare.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 1563                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. BARTHOLOMEW answered that Mr. Nordlund's division looked at               
 this in their 1998 budget.  Some of the budget adjustments                    
 reflected trying to take people off the welfare rolls.  The sense             
 from the DOR standpoint is that it would be a net financial gain to           
 the state.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1581                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY repeated that HB 169 does not provide any new            
 jobs.  The bill provides a tax credit of $1,000 to $1,500 to                  
 provide an incentive to hire someone over someone else who might be           
 better qualified.  He asked if it would force that more competent             
 person onto welfare.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 1601                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. BARTHOLOMEW stated that if this was the only bill, then this              
 would be a potential scenario.  There are development bills which             
 project a small amount of job growth in Alaska and HB 169 fits into           
 that projection.  The state has made this an objective and it is a            
 federal government mandate to reduce the welfare roles.  This bill            
 would give someone who is on welfare an advantage.  Whether or not            
 this advantage would be the final crux that beats out someone who             
 hasn't been on welfare is a tough issue to call.  He felt that this           
 bill would help people who are disadvantaged.  There has been a               
 policy decision to move these people off welfare, the time that               
 they can remain on welfare has been shortened.  This bill suggests            
 that the state needs to do something to help those people.  He felt           
 there could be a small possibility that it would harm other people            
 looking for work who are not on welfare.                                      
                                                                               
 Number 1664                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE commented that it wouldn't be a welfare affirmative            
 action program.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 1668                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN mentioned that HB 169 deals with the social            
 issue of moving people off of welfare into the work place.  He                
 referred to a conference last week which dealt with welfare reform.           
 One of the issues raised was turnover in entry level positions in             
 the number of businesses located in the state.  Welfare recipients            
 need to learn basic skills.  The purpose of welfare reform is to              
 give those people who are on welfare those basic skills.                      
 Businesses need to have an incentive to bring those people into the           
 workforce.  Businesses will invest time in teaching these people              
 how to be a good employee.  This bill gives businesses some                   
 incentive to spend a little bit of extra time with these employees.           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN asked how the 880 figure was derived.                  
                                                                               
 Number 1782                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. BARTHOLOMEW said that in discussions with the Department of               
 Health and Social Services and the Department of Labor they did not           
 have a good method of estimating an exact number.  The tax credit             
 only applies to tax paying corporations, a large number of                    
 employers don't pay taxes because of the size of their business.              
 The tax code is only structured to tax a small percentage of                  
 businesses in Alaska.   The DOR looked at how many businesses                 
 claimed the federal credit and what percentage of employees were              
 hired.  The DOR then backed these numbers and made them applicable            
 to Alaska.  Economic models were developed with an estimated range            
 of 500 to 1,000 people who could be hired as a result of this                 
 incentive.  No one had a comfort level of what this exact number              
 should be.  The 880 figure is a rough estimate.                               
                                                                               
 Number 1856                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. BARTHOLOMEW explained that for wages, the credit is up to                 
 $1,000  with a $500 incentive if training is provided.  The total             
 tax incentive is $1,500.  The DOR looked at what the federal credit           
 provided and a discussion was held on how much of an incentive                
 should the state be willing to provide to bring people into work.             
 This involved a decision about what amount of treasury money the              
 state would be willing to lose for someone who might obtain a job             
 anyway.  It also involved the idea that if you provide too big of             
 an incentive, the balance is inappropriately tipped.  The financial           
 incentive started out smaller and as discussions were held the                
 amount increased.  The average firm on the federal credit was                 
 getting a $378 credit.  The state will be providing a much bigger             
 incentive than the federal program.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 1920                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN mentioned that one of the comments at the              
 conference was that businesses felt the $1,500 wasn't enough of an            
 incentive.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1967                                                                   
 PAM LaBOLLE, President, Alaska Chamber of Commerce, stated that her           
 organization is supportive of this legislation.  They feel that it            
 doesn't create jobs, but member employers feel that there is a                
 great deal of turnover and a related cost of bringing someone in              
 with very little job experience.  Given the opportunity to hire               
 someone with experience over someone who doesn't, the business will           
 chose the person with the experience so this incentive will not               
 take a job away from a more qualified applicant.  She wasn't sure             
 how many businesses would qualify for the tax credit, but the                 
 bottom line is that HB 169 provides a credit for the extra effort             
 of training someone who doesn't have any experience.  She stated              
 business' concerns over the education system in Alaska.                       
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-43, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 0000                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if there would be merit in having a                
 business develop a five year plan to avoid the large turnover.                
                                                                               
 Number 0036                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. LaBOLLE answered that these employers with the large turnover             
 have struggled with how to reduce training costs.  At the                     
 conference mentioned by Representative Kemplen, businesses                    
 mentioned a $2,500 per employee training cost with a 60 percent               
 turnover.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 0085                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN suggested that if just a small fraction was              
 added to the wage, then that $2,500 would be stretched over a long            
 period and turnover would be reduced.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 0098                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. LaBOLLE answered that it is the nature of the type of employee            
 that causes the turnover.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 0130                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked the average wage or pay scale.  He said            
 that all the information he has seen indicates that our welfare               
 payment is far above any entry level wage.  He wondered how the               
 state was going to get people to take an entry level job.                     
                                                                               
 Number 0185                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. LaBOLLE felt that welfare recipients were not going to have a             
 choice.  The welfare program is going to disappear from under these           
 recipients and then they will have to work.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 0202                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked why the state would need to pay an                 
 incentive to employers.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 0216                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. LaBOLLE clarified that the incentive would go to the employer.            
 The state is trying to find places to put people who must come off            
 the welfare rolls.  The bill encourages businesses to consider                
 those people.                                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 0266                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that if those people are forced to go             
 out into the job market, then why does the state need to pay the              
 employer an incentive to hire them.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 0291                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. LaBOLLE answered that some businesses say this labor pool is              
 not that large because of the job turnover.  There isn't an                   
 abundance of people in that labor pool.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 0314                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY responded that we haven't kicked people off of           
 welfare yet.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 0317                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. LaBOLLE answered that this labor pool will not be large, even             
 when welfare is cut.  Businesses expect that people who come off              
 welfare will go into these basic, entry level positions.                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that this was his point.  He questioned           
 why the state needed to pay businesses to hire someone they are               
 looking to hire.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 0339                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BUNDE announced that this was the first time this bill was           
 heard and it would be held for the committee's consideration.                 
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 There being no further business to conduct, CHAIRMAN BUNDE                    
 adjourned the meeting of the House Health, Education and Social               
 Services Standing Committee at 5:42 p.m.                                      
                                                                               

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