Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/14/1996 03:13 PM House L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
          HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                          
                       February 14, 1996                                       
                           3:13 p.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Representative Pete Kott, Chairman                                            
 Representative Norman Rokeberg, Vice Chairman                                 
 Representative Beverly Masek                                                  
 Representative Jerry Sanders                                                  
 Representative Brian Porter                                                   
 Representative Kim Elton                                                      
 Representative Gene Kubina                                                    
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 All members present                                                           
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 HOUSE BILL NO. 369                                                            
 "An Act extending to certain partnerships and corporations the 10             
 percent procurement preference currently given to certain sole                
 proprietorships who are Alaska bidders and owned by persons with              
      - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                
 *HOUSE BILL NO. 134                                                           
 "An Act repealing vegetable dealer licensing and regulation."                 
     - BILL HEARING CANCELLED                                                  
 *HOUSE BILL NO. 456                                                           
 "An Act relating to the Board of Storage Tank Assistance; and                 
 providing for an effective date."                                             
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
 HOUSE BILL NO. 311                                                            
 "An Act repealing the limitation on the hours a person may be                 
 employed in a mine; and making a related technical amendment to               
 avoid changing the penalties for failing to make payments into an             
 employee benefit fund."                                                       
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
 *HOUSE BILL NO. 253                                                           
 "An Act relating to the purchase of authentic Native handicrafts on           
 certain licensed premises; and providing for an effective date."              
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
 HOUSE BILL NO. 435                                                            
 "An Act relating to employment contributions and to making the                
 state training and employment program a permanent state program;              
 and providing for an effective date."                                         
      - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                
 HOUSE BILL NO. 266                                                            
 "An Act relating to preferred provider agreements offered by                  
 hospital or medical service corporations."                                    
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HB 369                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: PROCUREMENT PREF FOR DISABLED                                    
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES                                           
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 12/29/95      2362    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/08/96      2362    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/08/96      2363    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, LABOR & COMMERCE                   
 01/18/96              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 01/18/96              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 01/23/96              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 01/23/96              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 01/24/96      2520    (H)   STA RPT  7DP                                      
 01/24/96      2520    (H)   DP:  JAMES, PORTER, GREEN, IVAN,                  
 01/24/96      2520    (H)   ROBINSON, WILLIS, OGAN                            
 01/24/96      2521    (H)   2 ZERO FISCAL NOTES (ADM, DOE)                    
 01/24/96      2521    (H)   REFERRED TO LABOR & COMMERCE                      
 02/14/96              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 BILL:  HB 456                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: BOARD OF STORAGE TANK ASSISTANCE                                 
 SPONSOR(S): LABOR & COMMERCE                                                  
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 01/30/96      2569    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/30/96      2569    (H)   LABOR & COMMERCE, FINANCE                         
 02/14/96              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 BILL:  HB 134                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) THERRIAULT, Toohey, Porter, Kott,               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 01/27/95       158    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/27/95       158    (H)   LABOR AND COMMERCE                                
 02/01/95       210    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): KOTT                                
 02/03/95       243    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): KOHRING                             
 02/14/96              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 BILL:  HB 311                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) VEZEY,Toohey,Martin                             
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 04/18/95      1351    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/18/95      1351    (H)   LABOR & COMMERCE, JUDICIARY                       
 01/24/96              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 01/24/96              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 02/07/96              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 02/07/96              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 02/14/96              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 BILL:  HB 253                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) NICHOLIA                                        
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 03/15/95       741    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/15/95       741    (H)   LABOR & COMMERCE, JUDICIARY, FINANCE              
 02/14/96              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 BILL:  HB 435                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                  
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 01/19/96      2488    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/19/96      2488    (H)   LABOR & COMMERCE, HES, STA, FINANCE               
 01/19/96      2488    (H)   3 FISCAL NOTES (2-DCRA, LABOR)                    
 01/19/96      2488    (H)   GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                     
 02/07/96              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 02/07/96              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 02/14/96              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 BILL:  HB 266                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): LABOR & COMMERCE BY REQUEST                                       
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 03/17/95       778    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/17/95       779    (H)   LABOR & COMMERCE, HES, JUDICIARY                  
 04/12/95              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 04/12/95              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 04/24/95              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 04/24/95              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 04/26/95              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 04/26/95              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 04/26/95              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 08/30/95              (H)   L&C AT 09:00 AM                                   
 08/30/95              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 09/27/95              (H)   L&C AT 09:00 AM JUNEAU LIO                        
 09/27/95              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 02/14/96              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 DUGAN PETTY, Director                                                         
 Central Office                                                                
 Division of General Services                                                  
 Department of Administration                                                  
 P.O. Box 110210                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0210                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2250                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 369.                          
 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES                                                
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 102                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3743                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 369                                        
 DWAYNE FRENCH, Director                                                       
 Statewide Programs                                                            
 Division of Vocational                                                        
   Rehabilitation Services                                                     
 Department of Education                                                       
 801 West Tenth Street, Suite 200                                              
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1894                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 369.                          
 GEORGE DOZIER, Committee Aide                                                 
 House Labor and Commerce Committee                                            
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 432                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4954                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 456.                                        
 JOHN BARNETT, Executive Director                                              
 Board of Storage Tank Assistance                                              
 Division of Spill Prevention and Response                                     
 Department of Environmental Conservation                                      
 410 Willoughby Avenue, Suite 105                                              
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1795                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 456.                          
 JIM HAYDEN, Program Manager                                                   
 Storage Tank Program                                                          
 Division of Spill Prevention and Response                                     
 Department of Environmental Conservation                                      
 410 Willoughby Avenue, Suite 105                                              
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1795                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 456.                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY                                                       
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 216                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3719                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 311.                                       
 DON ETHERIDGE                                                                 
 Alaska District Council of Laborers                                           
 710 West 9th Street                                                           
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 586-3707                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 311.                                     
 JOE THOMAS                                                                    
 Laborers Local 962                                                            
 315 Barnette Street                                                           
 Fairbanks, Alaska 99701                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 452-3139                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in HB 311.                                     
 MARY SATTLER, Legislative Intern                                              
   to Representative Nicholia                                                  
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 501                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2197                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Gave sponsor statement for HB 253.                       
 ANNE CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General                                    
 Central Office                                                                
 Criminal Division                                                             
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 253.                                     
 DWIGHT PERKINS, Special Assistant                                             
 Office of the Commissioner                                                    
 Department of Labor                                                           
 P.O. Box 21149                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska 99802-1149                                                     
 Telephone:  465-2700                                                          
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 435.                          
 MARK MICKELSON, Manager                                                       
 JTPA/SDA Program                                                              
 Division of Community and Regional Development                                
 Department of Community and Regional Affairs                                  
 P.O. Box 112100                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska 99811-2100                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4891                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 435.                          
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 96-8, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 001                                                                    
 The House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee was called to order           
 by Chairman Pete Kott at 3:13 p.m.  Members present at the call to            
 order were Representatives Kott, Porter, Elton, Sanders and Kubina.           
 Representatives Masek and Rokeberg arrived at 3:17 p.m.                       
 HB 369 - PROCUREMENT PREF FOR DISABLED                                      
 CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT announced the first order of business would be             
 HB 369, "An Act extending to certain partnerships and corporations            
 the 10 percent procurement preference currently given to certain              
 sole proprietorships who are Alaska bidders and owned by persons              
 with disabilities," sponsored by Representative James.                        
 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER said the bill was heard in the House              
 State Affairs Committee.  He explained the bill provides to                   
 disabled sole proprietors the same allowances that are given to               
 corporations and partnerships that are totally owned by disabled              
 people.  The same allowances that are given to sole proprietorships           
 that are owned by people with disabilities.  The bill provides the            
 opportunity for small businesses, in general terms, that are owned            
 and operated by people with disabilities to benefit from the                  
 business structures of partnerships and corporations.                         
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was discussion in the State Affairs              
 Committee as to what it is that the bill is trying to fix.  He                
 noted it seems like this is similar legislation that was before the           
 Labor and Commerce Committee last year.  He noted the bill was                
 introduced in December, 1995.                                                 
 Number 327                                                                    
 DUGAN PETTY, Director, Central Office, Division of General                    
 Services, Department of Administration, explained HB 369 is the               
 original version of HB 288 that was before the committee last year.           
 While HB 288 had some minor changes in the House Labor and Commerce           
 Committee, it did pass out of the committee.  There were more                 
 amendments adopted in the Senate.  Some of those amendments had               
 nothing to do with anything that was in the bill.  Those Senate               
 amendment caused the Governor to veto that bill.  Mr. Petty                   
 explained the Department of Administration supports the bill and              
 noted there is a zero fiscal note.                                            
 Number 450                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES, Alaska State Legislature, came                
 before the committee to give her sponsor statement for HB 369.  She           
 informed the committee the bill is identical to the bill that                 
 passed through the House last year.  She explained the House                  
 Finance Committee attached an amendment regarding a procurement and           
 extension of leases that expired last year.  It had the House,                
 Senate and the Administration's support.  When the bill went to the           
 Senate, another amendment was added regarding the marine highway              
 which was controversial.  In the end, the Governor vetoed the bill            
 because of the marine highway amendment.  She said HB 369 is the              
 same as HB 288.  She stated existing law allows severally disabled            
 people to have a bidders preference when they're doing business.              
 Existing law says they can do it if they're a sole proprietorship.            
 The bill allows them to also be a corporation, a partnership or               
 another entity besides the sole proprietorship, and of course, in             
 a corporation or a partnership all of the partners or shareholders            
 must also be severely disabled.  She said the doesn't allow them to           
 have someone else come in, assist them and then just be a                     
 spokesman, they have to manage their own business.  There is no               
 reason they should be precluded from having the choice of the other           
 business entities that might give them either some insurance                  
 protection and/or some tax advantage by having a corporation or a             
 partnership.  Representative James stated it is a simple bill.                
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked how many entities would qualify.                          
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she doesn't know, but there may be an               
 ability for people who are severely disabled to get some financing            
 if they could have a corporate or partnership structure.  She said            
 it is possible for two seriously disabled people to go into                   
 business and benefit from it.  She informed the committee she                 
 doesn't know an exact number but would say at least two dozen or              
 Number 644                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Representative James if anything has been done            
 to the title to ensure the amendment offered in the Senate won't be           
 added again.                                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES explained the title is specific and talks                
 about exactly what the bill does.                                             
 Number 626                                                                    
 DWAYNE FRENCH, Director, Statewide Programs, Division of Vocational           
 Rehabilitation Services, Department of Education, testified in                
 support of HB 369 and commended Representative James for                      
 introducing the bill.  It does allow wholly owned corporations,               
 operated by people with disabilities, to gain the bidders                     
 preference.  The mission of his division is to encourage and                  
 support Alaskans with significant disabilities in entering or                 
 reentering the work force, and to be active productive members of             
 the community.  This legislation would aide people with                       
 disabilities to gain employment and have business that would be               
 able to get bids from the state.                                              
 Number 773                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY SANDERS pointed out Mr. French was one of his            
 constituents.  He asked Mr. French if he wanted him to vote for the           
 bill.  MR. FRENCH answered in the affirmative.  Representative                
 Sanders said he would be happy to vote in favor of the bill.                  
 MR. FRENCH corrected Representative Sander by saying he has moved             
 into Representative Porter's district.                                        
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Mr. FRENCH if he wishes for Representative                
 Porter to support the measure.  He indicated he does.                         
 Number 860                                                                    
 There being no further testimony, REPRESENTATIVE GENE KUBINA made             
 a motion to pass HB 369 out of committee with individual                      
 recommendations.  CHAIRMAN KOTT objected for the purpose of the               
 roll call vote so Mr. French would know who is on record in favor             
 of the bill.                                                                  
 Number 877                                                                    
 A roll call vote was taken.  Representatives Sanders, Masek,                  
 Porter, Kubina, Elton, Rokeberg and Kott voted in favor of moving             
 the bill.  So HB 369 was passed out of the House Labor and Commerce           
 HB 134 - REPEAL VEGETABLE DEALER LICENSING                                  
 Number 938                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the committee schedule reflected that HB
 134, "An Act repealing vegetable dealer licensing and regulation,"            
 was scheduled.  He said that bill had been dealt with previously,             
 last year, and the bill is no longer before the committee at the              
 request of the prime sponsor.  The prime sponsor didn't want to               
 rehash the issues.                                                            
 HB 456 - BOARD OF STORAGE TANK ASSISTANCE                                   
 Number 952                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the next order of business was HB 456,                
 "An Act relating to the Board of Storage Tank Assistance; and                 
 providing for an effective date."                                             
 GEORGE DOZIER, Committee Aide, House Labor and Commerce Committee,            
 Alaska State Legislature, came before the committee.  He explained            
 HB 456 is a sunset bill which addresses the Board of Storage Tank             
 Assistance.  That board is due to sunset on June 30, 1996.  The               
 bill accomplishes two things.  First, it extends the date of the              
 board to June 30, 2000.  It also adds another individual that                 
 doesn't have a financial or other vested type interest in the                 
 industry.  He noted both portions of the bill are recommended by              
 the legislative auditors.                                                     
 Number 1039                                                                   
 JOHN BARNETT, Executive Director, Board of Storage Tank Assistance,           
 Division of Spill Prevention and Response, Department of                      
 Environmental Conservation (DEC), pointed out the board has one               
 employee, himself, and seven volunteer members.  He informed the              
 committee that the board has issued about 650 grants and loans to             
 date and has close to 1,000 applications still pending.  Mr.                  
 Barnett said there is quite a few more years of work left in                  
 getting lot of the sites cleaned up.  He encouraged the passage of            
 HB 456.                                                                       
 Number 1074                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked Mr. Barnett if he has ever been                   
 associated with a board or a group that has an even number rather             
 than an odd number.                                                           
 MR. BARNETT said this will be a new experience.  He said they will            
 probably have to enact bylaws whereby the chairman would only vote            
 in the case of a tie.                                                         
 Number 1105                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked how the chairperson is picked.  MR.                
 BARNETT explained the chairperson is chosen by a vote.  He said               
 should HB 456 become law, the board will probably have to enact               
 bylaws prior to electing a new chair.  Representative Elton said he           
 sees a problem with an even amount of members on a board.  He said            
 if he were on the board, he wouldn't want to be a chair.                      
 Number 1135                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA pointed out that the bill didn't have a                 
 fiscal note.  He said if someone is going to be added to the board,           
 there would be travel expenses.  He noted the bill probably needs             
 a small fiscal note.  Representative Kubina questioned adding two             
 people to the board.                                                          
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT said they only want one additional person.  He            
 also said the committee members didn't have a fiscal note.  Before            
 the bill is forwarded to the next committee of referral, a fiscal             
 note will be contained in the packet.                                         
 Number 1175                                                                   
 MR. BARNETT said he believes a fiscal note was faxed to the                   
 committee earlier in the day.                                                 
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the fiscal note was revenue neutral.                   
 Number 1188                                                                   
 JIM HAYDEN, Program Manager, Storage Tank Program, Division of                
 Spill Prevention and Response, DEC, came before the committee.  He            
 said a fiscal note was prepared and apologized for not getting it             
 to the committee sooner.  Mr. Hayden said an analysis was done on             
 the required travel for the new position and found it could be                
 absorbed into the travel budget as it currently exists.  Mr. Hayden           
 said the department sees the fiscal note as a zero fiscal note.               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT questioned the extent of the problems, statewide,               
 that still need to be addressed.  MR. HAYDEN explained they have              
 about 800 applications currently ranked and on a waiting list.  He            
 also said somewhere between $50 million and $60 million is needed.            
 Over the last couple of years, they have received appropriations              
 for about $2 million each year.  It will take many many years to              
 take care of the problem.  He noted they are also taking another              
 approach to this problem in that the department is modifying their            
 regulations to allow for a risk assessment in determining                     
 alternative cleanup levels.  Mr. Hayden said currently, they are              
 limited to a specific cleanup matrix and value.  In the future,               
 they'll be able to, by risk assessment, set another value if there            
 is minimal risk.  That should significantly reduce the costs of               
 cleanup.  He said they expect that estimate to come down as they              
 implement the new regulations.  It could be cut in half or maybe              
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there are new problems being identified on             
 an annual bases that is going to add to the current problems.  MR.            
 HAYDEN said the deadline has come and gone in terms of submitting             
 applications.  There is one other route that can be used to submit            
 an application and that is if someone is already on the waiting               
 list for an upgrade or closure grant for a tank system.  He                   
 explained there were standards due, in 1998, for upgrading all                
 tanks.  There is a program and a waiting list for that.  When                 
 people do eventually get their grant to upgrade their tanks, if               
 they find contamination when digging up their tanks, then they can            
 submit a cleanup application.  He noted the department does expect            
 some additional need when the tanks are upgraded.                             
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there is some kind of a strategy that has a            
 time certain as to when all the tanks are going to be upgraded.               
 MR. HAYDEN explained the upgrade schedule is set by law.  The                 
 facilities have to comply by the 1998 deadline either through a               
 system served by their own resources or by a combination of the               
 two.  He said the department feels fairly certain that will happen.           
 It is more difficult to estimate the time required for cleanup.  He           
 said realistically, he would expect beyond the year 2000, 2005                
 Number 1406                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there are federal monies associated with               
 this cleanup process.  MR. HAYDEN informed the committee the                  
 federal government hasn't released and money for this.  There are             
 monies in what is called the leaking underground storage tank                 
 (LUST) trust fund in Washington, D.C.  Currently, there is a $700             
 million surplus in that fund.  We each pay 1/10 of a cent into the            
 fund each time we fill up our gas tanks in our cars, but the                  
 federal government has chosen not to release any of those monies to           
 the states in terms of cleanup for assistance to facilities.                  
 CHAIRMAN KOTT referred to the 800 applications currently on file              
 and asked how the department determines priority.  MR. HAYDEN said            
 they have a ranking system that has been developed over the last              
 four years.  The last time the ranking system was revised was in              
 August, 1994, and it has numerous criteria.  The most significant             
 would be their system of what they call the Alaska hazard ranking             
 model which takes into account a risk posed by a site.  This is in            
 terms of cleanup.  So risk factors into this heavily in terms of              
 who gets the grant first.  In terms of upgrade and closure, there             
 are various criteria such as access to fuel and number of sites in            
 an area would be another.  There are about ten criteria for each              
 program.  He noted the cleanup waiting list is about 250 and the              
 upgrade and closure is about 600.                                             
 Number 1518                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked how much money the legislature funded             
 last year for dealing with this issue.  MR. HAYDEN said                       
 approximately $2 million.  Representative Kubina asked what is in             
 the Governor's budget this year.  Mr. Hayden said they have asked             
 for a continuation amount.                                                    
 Number 1533                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON referred to the audit report recommending                
 adding a public member and asked what the effect would be of                  
 substituting a public member for one of the two owners or operators           
 of underground storage tank systems.  MR. HAYDEN said he hasn't               
 thought about that.  When he read the legislative audit report, he            
 felt the recommendation was a good one in terms of adding a                   
 disinterested party because it would broaden the perspective.  He             
 referred to the issue of having an even member board and said he              
 would like to get back to committee on the issue.  Representative             
 Elton said it would be helpful to have that information and also              
 information on when the terms are completed of two members who                
 represent owners or operators of underground storage tanks.                   
 Number 1622                                                                   
 MR. BARNETT explained there has always been a large and a small               
 tank owner on the board.  That has provided an excellent balance              
 over the last few years.  He said he wouldn't recommend removing              
 either of the two tank owners on the seven member board.  The small           
 tank owner has always been sort of chosen from the small mom and              
 pop type facilities.  He referred to the large tank owner, and                
 indicated the board has focused on large bulk fuel facility owners            
 who also owned underground tanks that met the criteria.  The large            
 tank owner has been providing a lot of insight into trying to                 
 resolve some of the rural tank and above ground tank problems that            
 the state is now (indisc.).  At this time, removing one of the tank           
 owners from the board would probably not be a recommended action.             
 It is a fairly well balanced board.  Mr. Barnett noted he believes            
 the board is flexible enough in its authorities that it could                 
 handel working with an even numbered board.                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked Mr. Barnett if he feels that a public              
 member could be substituted for the engineer, the general                     
 contractor or the insurance industry representative.  MR. BARNETT             
 said all the members of the board were chosen for their technical             
 expertise.  It would be very had to sacrifice any of those member's           
 skills, it would hurt the board from a technical aspect on some of            
 the issues they have to resolve.  He referred to there being many             
 issues that might be related to laboratory methods or cleanup                 
 techniques and said the board tends to lean on the engineer                   
 representative for feedback and input.  Mr. Barnett said because              
 the board is involved with the certification of tank workers, the             
 certified worker on the board, who is a tank contractor, also                 
 provides input.  He referred to the insurance representative, who             
 is currently the chair, and said it would be very difficult to lose           
 her because of the fact that they are dealing with major liability            
 issues related to environmental liability.  Part of the reason for            
 this cleanup program is to address pollution liability by having a            
 program in place that takes the liability away from the state and             
 puts it in the hands of the tank owner.  Mr. Barnett said the                 
 members that would probably be better replaced would possibly be              
 the government members.  There are two government members,                    
 Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of                    
 Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT/PF).  Since the program             
 is housed within DEC, it would not be wise to remove that member.             
 He said if he had to make a choice, he would suggest the DOT/PF               
 Number 1777                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG referred to the $2 million                     
 appropriation and asked if that is general funds.  MR. BARNETT                
 explained that comes from the prevention account.  The prevention             
 account evolved from the oil and hazardous substance fund.  There             
 is a 5 cent a barrel surcharge that comes off the pipeline.  He               
 said 3 cents goes into the prevention account and 2 cents goes into           
 the response account.  The prevention account funds DEC's pollution           
 prevention operations and spill response office within the Spill              
 Prevention and Response Division of DEC.  Mr. Barnett said his                
 program is funded out of that prevention account.  There are                  
 sufficient funds to fund the budget for this year out of that                 
 prevention account.  He noted it used to be called the 470 fund.              
 Number 1819                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS questioned that adding a person is revenue             
 neutral.  MR. BARNETT said over the last couple of years, they have           
 tried to reduce the overall travel and budget costs by increasing             
 the number of teleconferences.  During the early days of the                  
 program, they had higher travel costs because they were drafting              
 and developing the regulatory framework for the program.  They                
 drafted regulations and held workshops throughout all portions and            
 regions of the state.  Mr. Barnett said they are now at an                    
 efficiency point where they have three formal board meetings a year           
 in Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks.  He noted the board rotates               
 between those communities.  There are usually only three or four              
 board members that travel to any one meeting.  Operating costs are            
 now at the point where everything can be absorbed as their office             
 and computer equipment has been paid for.  Mr. Barnett said he                
 feels they can stay at the same level for the next few years                  
 without increasing their budget.                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS asked Mr. Bennett's thought about adding two           
 additional people to the board.  MR. BENNETT said there wouldn't be           
 an objection by the board members, nor the Administration he                  
 suspects, to having an additional two members added.  He said he              
 didn't expect the travel would still increase proportionately as              
 they have teleconferencing abilities.  He believes they could stay            
 within their existing budget.                                                 
 Number 1947                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said he probably needs to talk to his board             
 about the additional people.  He suggested talking to DOT/PF about            
 losing their seat.                                                            
 MR. BENNETT said he believes the board can handle seven or eight              
 members.  Obviously, it would be easier to deal with a seven member           
 board from a voting and conflict standpoint.  With enacted bylaws             
 and a rotating chairman program, they could probably work with                
 eight members.                                                                
 Number 7004                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the commissioners of DEC and                 
 DOT/PF have designees that represent them on the board.  MR.                  
 BENNETT said they do.  The designee for DEC is the division                   
 director for the Spill Prevention Response Division.  The designee            
 for DOT/PF is environmental right-of-way director.                            
 Number 2029                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA referred to the $2 million appropriation and            
 said he recalls that there were some problems with some very large            
 companies using up all the limited resources.  He asked if that is            
 still a problem.                                                              
 MR. BENNETT said that was actually resolved early on in their                 
 priority ranking system.  That was one of the board's first                   
 objectives which was to create a ranking system that was                      
 constitutionally correct and still fair to all the eligible tank              
 owners in the state.   One thing they used as a tool was the                  
 financial responsibility requirement of the federal government                
 which required tank owners to demonstrate financial responsibility            
 by having pollution liability insurance.  The larger companies,               
 such as Tesoro, Alaska Airlines, Mapco, etc., are all self                    
 insurable and met the financial responsibility requirement.  If the           
 small tank owner, who almost always was the independent                       
 businessman, usually got the higher ranking points if they couldn't           
 demonstrate financial responsibility.  Mr. Bennett said there is              
 also other ranking criteria which relates to the area served, the             
 community they're in.  He said they find most of the larger                   
 companies are in the larger urban areas and the smaller tank owners           
 are in outlying areas in some of the smaller communities throughout           
 the state.  Mr. Bennett explained they tend to have a rural                   
 preference, small facility preference, where if they only have one            
 facility and only four tanks, they get a higher number of points              
 than they would if they had multiple facilities.  So, they have a             
 ranking system that considers the size and the insurability of the            
 business and that puts the larger companies at the bottom.                    
 Number 2114                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the board is the body that determines the              
 priorities.  MR. BENNETT explained the board sets the priority                
 ranking.  The board also acts as an appeal board for mediating                
 disputes in determining priority ranking disputes.  He said the               
 board writes the regulations and the ranking systems.  The                    
 department administers the program.  When a tank owner has a                  
 problem with DEC, they can come to the board and the board then               
 hears their concern and acts as an intermediary between DEC and the           
 tank owner.  The board then can adjust the ranking accordingly if             
 the arguments are sound.                                                      
 Number 2158                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG indicated concern about increasing the                
 number of members on the board and suggested eliminating the DOT/PF           
 Number 2181                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said if it the desire of the chairman to move            
 the bill today, he would probably vote to substitute.  It may be a            
 good idea, however, to hold the bill over until the next meeting to           
 give the board's staff person a chance to see if the board has a              
 preferred option.                                                             
 Number 2203                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said he tends to agree with Representative              
 Rokeberg.  The DOT/PF should have a chance to comment as they may             
 have a very good argument why they should remain on the board.                
 Number 2223                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said the issue should be dealt with in the              
 Labor and Commerce Committee.  He pointed out there is a Finance              
 Committee referral, but the co-chair of that committee might not              
 want to hear the bill as there is a zero fiscal note.                         
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said there seems to be some motivation not to hear              
 bills in the Finance Committee that do not have a fiscal impact.              
 He said it would be better to hold HB 456 until the committee's               
 hearing on Monday.                                                            
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he would like the department to                  
 provide two fiscal notes, one for adding a member and one showing             
 an amount if the commissioner were to be removed.                             
 MR. BENNETT said the fiscal note would be zero either way.  There             
 are some items in their budget that don't get used each year such             
 as some of their legal costs, which would be used for the                     
 additional person.  He noted there is about $2,000 in their legal             
 Number 2331                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said the bill would be held over until the Monday               
 HB 311 - REPEAL LIMIT ON HOURS EMPLOYED IN MINES                            
 Number 2343                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the next order of business would be HB 311,           
 "An Act repealing the limitation on the hours a person may be                 
 employed in a mine; and making a related technical amendment to               
 avoid changing the penalties for failing to make payments into an             
 employee benefit fund."  He noted the sponsor of the bill was on              
 his way to the meeting and that the committee would take a brief              
 recess at 3:58 p.m.                                                           
 CHAIRMAN KOTT Chairman Kott called the meeting back to order at               
 4:02 p.m.  He said there is an updated zero fiscal note the                   
 committee members should have.                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY, sponsor of HB 311, said he didn't have               
 many more comments to add in addition to what he said at the                  
 previous meeting on the bill, except that he has an update on some            
 legislation in other states.  He said other states that have an               
 eight hour underground law includes Idaho, which the Idaho Senate             
 voted to repeal their law about ten days ago.  The bill is now                
 before the House and passage is expected in the next week or two.             
 Representative Vezey referred to the state of Nevada and said they            
 had an eight hour law, but repealed it in 1993.  They now allow               
 work in excess of eight hours with no limit stated, but it must be            
 by a majority vote of the workers concurring.  In 1995, California            
 repealed their law.  They had an eight hour law with a provision              
 for a waiver.  It was a complex law and was taken to federal court            
 and the court threw the law out on the grounds that it was a                  
 violation of the National Labor Relations Act.  California came               
 back in 1995, and passed a law which allows up to 12 hours a day.             
 He noted that law went into effect in 1996.  Representative Vezey             
 said Arizona has an eight hour day mine law and has approximately             
 four underground mines.  Nobody wants to change the laws in                   
 Arizona.  He noted the mines in Arizona run three eight hour                  
 shifts.  Representative Vezey said Montana has an eight hour a day            
 mine law and there are two underground mines there.  They work 10             
 or 12 hour shifts and they just ignore the law.  Oregon has an                
 eight hour mine law and they have no underground mining there.                
 [End of tape...]                                                              
 TAPE 96-8, SIDE B                                                             
 Number 001                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY named the ten leading states in underground              
 mining in terms of economic activity, Kentucky, West Virginia,                
 Virginia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Illinois, Ohio, Colorado, Alabama              
 and Utah.  He pointed out that in Colorado, you have to apply to              
 work more than eight hours a day.  In Utah you get a permit for               
 working more than an eight hour day.  The others have no                      
 restrictions.  Representative Vezey referred to underground mineral           
 mines and said you have Nevada, Colorado, California, Arizona,                
 Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Alaska, Texas and Washington.                     
 Number 061                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN KOTT noted that the committee has visited the A-J mine in            
 Juneau and got a little bit of a look at what goes on.  He said he            
 understands there is another tour being scheduled for March 1, and            
 it will be about a five hour tour.                                            
 Number 095                                                                    
 DON ETHERIDGE, Alaska District Council of Laborers, came before the           
 committee to testify on HB 311.  He said his organization is                  
 attempting to work out an agreement with the mining industry.                 
 Meetings are scheduled for February 26 and 27, during their                   
 national AFL-CIO convention.  At that time his organization will              
 come up with an opinion.  Currently, they are trying to work out an           
 agreement as to whether they are opposed or if they can work out a            
 compromise agreement with the mining industry.  At that time, they            
 will have a position.  They currently don't have a set opinion.               
 Number 138                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG questioned whether Mr. Etheridge's                    
 organization represents any miners.  MR. ETHERIDGE stated there are           
 many laborers working in the underground mines.  There are some who           
 are working with contractors that are working subcontractors to               
 mining companies.                                                             
 Number 178                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS asked Mr. Etheridge if he has an idea as to            
 how many underground mines there are that currently operating in              
 Alaska.  MR. ETHERIDGE indicated he didn't, but stated he is sure             
 he could get the information to the committee.                                
 Number 193                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said you have Greens Creek.  There is the Nix            
 and Fork located near McGrath which is an underground mine that               
 produces gold.  There is Illinois Creek near Galena which will be             
 an underground mine if it ever gets into production.  He pointed              
 out there is an unclassified number of underground placer mines.              
 There may be about five or six which are very small and seasonal              
 REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS said if the bill were to pass, it would                
 apply to all the underground mining in the state including placer             
 mines.  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said that is correct.                            
 Number 270                                                                    
 JOE THOMAS, Laborers Local 962, Fairbanks, was next to come before            
 the committee.  He informed the committee his union does have one             
 contract with a placer miner in the Fairbanks area.  They have                
 contractors working along the lines of the development of the mines           
 and not necessarily the underground work.  Mr. Thomas said his                
 concern is with the conditions and the safety of the workers in the           
 mines.  Whether they belong to unions or not is another question.             
 Besides just changing the law, people need to look at the safety              
 aspects of the mines.  There are a lot of things that need to be              
 taken into consideration when working underground such as the                 
 quality of the air.  A lot of mining in this country, the smaller             
 mines, is done during certain times of the year because of the                
 whether conditions.  Mr. Thomas said his organization is meeting              
 with the industry to see if something can be worked out that would            
 be acceptable to cause them to possibly support a change in the               
 hours that are worked.  He said he would like to know about what              
 other states requirements are in that if they allow longer hours.             
 Some states allow permits and the permit is based on the mine                 
 inspection that is done, how frequently it is done, the equipment             
 used, the air quality, etc.  Mr. Thomas indicated he has had brief            
 conversations with people, particularly those who represent mines,            
 and they are very careful in the writing of their contract to                 
 ensure the safety aspects.                                                    
 Number 380                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there has been studies that looked at the              
 physiological effects on individuals that have worked in mines.               
 MR. THOMAS explained he has spoke to some people and they have told           
 him that the aspect of working underground as it compares with                
 working above ground, eight hours is not necessarily eight hours.             
 When you're underground, time seems to be a different element.  He            
 noted mines are operated in different fashions.                               
 Number 442                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred to tunneling and asked if                    
 tunneling activities are done under the auspices of a laborer                 
 union.  MR. THOMAS said Snettisham was built that way and some of             
 the dams in Southeast Alaska were also done that way such as Greens           
 Creek and Bradley Lake.                                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG questioned whether most of the people                 
 involved in tunneling are in a labor union.  MR. THOMAS clarified             
 in the construction and labor unions, but not all would be.                   
 Representative Rokeberg asked Mr. Thomas if his union objects to              
 working more than eight hours a day if the work occurs on the                 
 surface.  Mr. Thomas indicated they normally don't object.                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Mr. Thomas if they have surveyed the            
 underground miners regarding the issue.  MR. THOMAS said he has and           
 most of the people he has spoke with have the same concern, it                
 depends on the condition of the mine and how responsive the owner             
 is to the safety questions that arise.  Some of the people he spoke           
 to won't work for some people, simply because they don't pay any              
 attention to safety, lighting and air being the big items.                    
 Representative Rokeberg said Mr. Thomas' answer seems to imply that           
 there are operations in the state that may be unsafe.  Mr. Thomas             
 said there are places he wouldn't go.                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA referred to Section C and said rather than              
 repealing those three sections of the law to include an exemption,            
 those sections could be waived through a collective bargaining                
 agreement.  That way it would be left open for the owners of the              
 mines to work with their employees on the things that are being               
 addressed, rather than repealing it outright.                                 
 Number 583                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he'd prefer to repeal the whole section            
 and let labor and management work out their agreements.  He                   
 suggested taking labor agreements totally out of statute.                     
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he isn't sure what Representative Porter            
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said it is his understanding that the                   
 tunneling at Snettisham does not have a restriction of eight hours            
 and as far as he knows, either they haven't seen fit to use ten               
 hours or they have and it hasn't been a problem.                              
 MR. THOMAS explained the employees did work longer hours.  They did           
 it under a union agreement.  Therefore, the union was able to                 
 negotiate the conditions that the people would work.                          
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER again stated he doesn't like to see these               
 types of things in statute.  He thinks the process works just fine            
 between labor and management until the legislature gets involved.             
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he agrees with Representative Porter.  As           
 long as the legislature doesn't get in to position where the                  
 statutes are being repealed and then there is no forum under which            
 to come to those mutually beneficial type of agreements.  If the              
 legislature repeals the statutes and doesn't provide for that                 
 alternative forum, he would have some concern.  There wouldn't be             
 an even playing field as there wouldn't be the forum in which the             
 working conditions could be discussed.                                        
 Number 696                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said the committee's discussion makes an              
 assumption that there will be a collective bargaining agreement in            
 place and it doesn't provide for a nonunion shop operation.  That             
 would be the need for having a statute.                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said if there is no bargaining agreement, the            
 hours would be limited to eight hours underground.  The statute               
 would provide that is the maximum amount of hours unless the                  
 parties are operating under a collective bargaining agreement.                
 Number 741                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER referred to the federal FLSA laws and said if           
 this statute wasn't in place, wouldn't that require an exception              
 for a ten hour day.  MR. THOMAS said he could say specifically, but           
 there is a federal mine person in Juneau who would better be able             
 to answer the question.                                                       
 CHAIRMAN KOTT closed the public hearing HB 311 and announced the              
 bill would be held.                                                           
 HB 253 - BAN CRAFT BUYING ON LIQUOR PREMISES                                
 Number 882                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the committee would hear HB 253,                      
 "An Act relating to the purchase of authentic Native handicrafts on           
 certain licensed premises; and providing for an effective date."              
 MARY SATTLER, Legislative Intern to Representative Nicholia, Alaska           
 State Legislature, said the bill was initiated because of a concern           
 regarding the sale of authentic Native handicrafts on all premises            
 that hold beverage dispensary licenses.  Entrepreneurs, bar patrons           
 and tourists often take advantage of intoxicated artists.  Artists            
 cannot make astute business decisions when they are intoxicated.              
 Artists are most often taken advantage of when under the influence            
 of alcohol and, as a result, the selling price of the art is far              
 below the markup price.   Ms. Sattler explained an artist can spend           
 so much time on an individual piece of art, that selling the art              
 far below its value is like throwing the artist's talent away.                
 Furthermore, this type of activity puts enough money in the                   
 intoxicated person's pockets to allow them to continue abusing                
 alcohol.  As well as supporting alcohol abuse, this activity is               
 degrading to the aesthetic value of the art and the artist.  Ms.              
 Sattler explained the bill is still being reviewed by the                     
 Department of Law and the Department of Public Safety.                        
 MS. SATTLER offered that many of the people engaged in the dialogue           
 of the bill came into the picture very recently and there wasn't              
 time to incorporate all of the changes that are being requested.              
 One of the main changes being reviewed relates to broadening the              
 bill to include all handicrafts and not just authentic Native                 
 handicrafts.  The concern, however, is the bill deals with criminal           
 statutes and people want to have a more focused definition of the             
 word "handicraft."  She noted there is a statute that does describe           
 and define "authentic Native handicrafts," but as the deputy                  
 commissioner of the Department of Public Safety said, it would be             
 hard for a police officer to go into a bar and know exactly what a            
 handicraft consists of.                                                       
 Number 1038                                                                   
 MS. SATTLER referred to the penalties that would be placed on the             
 buyer, seller and bar owner, and said Anne Carpeneti from the                 
 Department of Law is helping with that issue.  The penalties would            
 be a class B misdemeanor for the first offense and a class A                  
 misdemeanor for the second offense instead of the way it is stated            
 on page 1, line 10.                                                           
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Ms. Sattler if she knows of any instances where           
 this provision has been applied.  MS. SATTLER responded in the                
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there is a problem or are we trying to be              
 proactive.  MS. SATTLER said there is a serious problem.  Anyone              
 who has gone to the Iditarod, who has gone into a bar, may have               
 seen this happening.  She noted a number of artists have even                 
 approached her pulled art work out of their sleeve or pocket and              
 tried to sell it to her.  A bar is one of the places they do a lot            
 of business, especially after hours when they are looking for money           
 to buy alcohol and the stores they sell to are closed.                        
 Number 1118                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG pointed out that along the road systems in            
 the state, there are road houses that consist of restaurants or               
 cafes, that perhaps have a liquor license, and also have gift                 
 shops.  He said he thinks the bill is very short sided in the sense           
 that it would restrict the sales and the sales opportunity, not               
 only of Native art and handicrafts, but any handicrafts.  He said             
 he could be sympathetic to the problem in the more rural areas of             
 the state.                                                                    
 MS. SATTLER said that is another area of the bill they are trying             
 to iron out.  She said the basic concern is when you're in a bar.             
 She noted the Hilton and Captain Cook, in Anchorage, have licenses            
 to sell and they also have shops.                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he is sure that all the better artists           
 in the state would be very upset if the bill were to pass in its              
 current form.                                                                 
 Number 1225                                                                   
 ANNE CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General, Central Office,                   
 Criminal Division, Department of Law, said the department is                  
 concerned about the criminal provisions of the bill in its current            
 form.  Generally, the department would prefer focusing on this                
 particular conduct in terms of the license of the operator of the             
 establishment, but if you were going to establish new crimes to               
 outlaw this type of behavior, the department would prefer to see              
 they are in the general terminology of our criminal statutes.  She            
 said for the first offense, they would suggest a misdemeanor                  
 violation.  It is not necessary and is not advisable to make a                
 separate section prohibiting a person who is not an individual from           
 committing the conduct.  There are current sentencing statutes that           
 provide for increased fines for offenders who are not individuals             
 and who are working in groups of two or more.  She noted you can't            
 put an organization in jail anyways.  Ms. Carpeneti said it would             
 be the Department of Law's recommendation to make it one offense              
 for all people which is what the criminal statutes currently do.              
 Then if you want to have two levels of offense in making the first            
 offense a violation and the second a B misdemeanor, or whichever              
 level is best.                                                                
 Number 1322                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the bill applies to patrons purchasing, but            
 does not address the seller.  MS. CARPENETI said it is her                    
 understanding that it applies to both.                                        
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said there are problems with the bill and it is his             
 intent to hold the bill over in order to address some of the issues           
 expressed by the Department of Law.                                           
 Number 1385                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER explained he has some problems with the                 
 general idea of the bill.  He said he is extremely sympathetic to             
 the concern.  Representative Porter informed the committee that he            
 has a concern that we would be making a violation or a crime out of           
 something that a patron would be looking at as a kind act.  He said           
 he would really have a problem in making it a criminal offense for            
 the person we're trying to assist if it is that the handicraft                
 artist needs that assistance.  He said he would really have a                 
 problem with a patron who, when you think about it, who could be              
 suffering from the kind of problem and pay twice as much as they              
 should have.                                                                  
 Number 1482                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said he is also sympathetic.  He noted he has           
 been in a spot where he has been offered carved ivory in a bar                
 where somebody was obviously selling it cheaper than what it was              
 worth.  He said he has also been in a spot where people have come             
 around the schools and were offering a good deal because they                 
 needed money for some reason.  Representative Kubina said he isn't            
 sure how to address the issue, but he sort of agrees with                     
 Representative Porter.  He isn't sure this is the way to correct              
 the problem.                                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON suggested holding the bill in committee until            
 the sponsor and other people involved have agreed on an a                     
 appropriate approach.                                                         
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said it is his intent to hold the bill.                         
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER pointed out that currently a proprietor can             
 preclude someone from being on their premise for any legitimate               
 reason and pestering customers is a legitimate reason.                        
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he can remember a specific case in which            
 a proprietor was taking advantage of a person and getting a lot of            
 ivory in exchange for drinks.  There was a serious problem.                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he thinks the law now precludes that               
 kind of thing from happening.                                                 
 CHAIRMAN KOTT closed the public hearing on HB 253 and announced the           
 bill would be held.                                                           
 HB 435 - STATE TRAINING & EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM                                
 Number 1847                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the committee would hear HB 435, "An Act              
 relating to employment contributions and to making the state                  
 training and employment program a permanent state program; and                
 providing for an effective date."  He said the bill was introduced            
 by the Administration and deals with state training in the                    
 employment program.  At the last hearing on the measure, there was            
 testimony given by the Department of Labor suggesting the bill is             
 a good bill.                                                                  
 Number 1889                                                                   
 DWIGHT PERKINS, Special Assistant, Office of the Commissioner,                
 Department of Labor, explained the bill relates to a pilot program            
 that has operated over the last six years very successfully.  He              
 encouraged the committee to give the bill their consideration and             
 to institutionalize the program.                                              
 CHAIRMAN KOTT referred to the word "institutionalize" and said Mr.            
 Perkins doesn't mean to lock the bill up.  MR. PERKINS said he                
 would like the program to be a permanent program.  He noted the               
 committee members have in their packets a copy of the program's               
 executive summary which talks about the program since its                     
 inception.  In the second half of 1989 (Fiscal Year 90), and July             
 of 1994, State Training Employment Program spent $9.79 million                
 towards providing training and services to 4,890 individuals.  The            
 program is paid for by the working employees, 1/10 of 1 percent is            
 deducted and .5 percent of the ESD goes towards that.  There are no           
 general fund or federal monies appropriated to the program.  The              
 program helps to upgrade employee's skills.                                   
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked why we should force the employed, who likely              
 paid for their own training, to subsidize the training of others,             
 the unemployed.                                                               
 Number 2223                                                                   
 MARK MICKELSON, Manager, JTPA/SDA Program, Division of Community              
 and Regional Development, Department of Community and Regional                
 Affairs (DCRA), came before the House Labor and Commerce Committee.           
 He referred to the question of why should there be a subsidy, an              
 opportunity, a fund, to provide for additional training and said              
 the answer, in his mind, is fairly simple.  It is because most                
 people are not saving for training for themselves, and many                   
 employers don't have funds dedicated for training.  The STEP                  
 Program has been both employer friendly and employee friendly, in             
 the sense that it has provided an incentive and an opportunity for            
 many people and businesses to invest in additional skills and work            
 force readiness for the Alaskan work force.  The STEP Program has             
 provided training for over 5,000 people.  In many cases, it has               
 been for Alaskans to upgrade their skills to make them more                   
 competitive against out-of-state job seekers.  He referred to the             
 Fisheries Community Development Program and said they made a                  
 significant difference in providing training for hundreds of rural            
 Alaskans to be competitive in the bottom fish offshore industry.              
 They have done some very innovative things with trades in respect             
 to providing incentive for outreach and recruitment, pre-                     
 apprenticeship work in rural areas where traditionally the trades             
 have not had a very strong presence.  It is an incentive that                 
 essentially rewards work.  Mr. Mickelson said it is not, in any               
 way, a duplication of existing programs.  The federal commitment to           
 employment and training is very meager and is getting slimmer.  He            
 said he is anticipating about a 30 percent reduction this year with           
 the federal commitment under the JTPA Program.  The STEP Program              
 has been a very flexible and adaptable program because the                    
 department gets to write the regulations.  Mr. Mickelson said in              
 1988, the legislature did a good job in researching other states              
 and how programs were structured.  It is an effective tool to                 
 promote more Alaskan hire and greater skills.                                 
 Number 2442                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked how the program is funded.  He also               
 asked how an employee or employer who is interested in having                 
 additional training for employees would go about getting into the             
 program.  [End of Tape...]                                                    
 TAPE 96-9, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 001                                                                    
 [Part of Mr. Mickelson's response wasn't recorded during the                  
 changing of the tape.]  MR. MICKELSON explained the maximum an                
 employee contributes to the program is approximate $24 for a year.            
 The $24 does not impact an employee's benefits.  He referred the              
 question of how an employer or employee would access the fund and             
 said the money is currently provided down through the employment              
 training structure in the state.  Currently, there are three                  
 service delivery areas.  There is an Anchorage Mat-Su consortium              
 that is administered by the municipality of Anchorage.  There is a            
 Fairbanks Private Industry Council.  There is then a balance of               
 state or statewide.  He referred to the rural areas of the state              
 and said that has been the DCRA's area of operations.  Once the               
 department receives the grant, they make funds available, generally           
 through a competitive solicitation to the businesses, the                     
 educational agencies and to individuals who are seeking assistance.           
 So any individual who becomes unemployed, goes in unemployment                
 insurance, will be advised of this in the employment service                  
 offices.  They will be made aware of these services by any                    
 educational agency providing the service and by word of mouth.                
 MR. MICKELSON noted the program could be applied in Pelican since             
 the cold storage closed.  He noted staff will be sent there to have           
 discussions about possible resources, and STEP might be one                   
 resource if there is inadequate federal money to provide help.  He            
 noted he has had discussions with staff in the DCRA Interior office           
 with respect to providing additional training in the mining                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if the training is available just to              
 people who are unemployed or if it is available for upgrading                 
 employed people's skills.                                                     
 MR. MICKELSON explained there is an eligibility criteria that                 
 allows training for those who have exhausted unemployment insurance           
 benefits.  Another criteria is for those who may be facing a                  
 potential layoff due to plant closure, technological changes or               
 advances, etc.  Mr. Mickelson said an employer could approach the             
 department and ask for assistance to retain staff if they could               
 identify a specific training need that was appropriate.                       
 Number 332                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked what the ceiling is that an employee pays.  MR.           
 MICKELSON said he believes it is in the neighborhood of $24.                  
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said he remembers it being a very small amount.  He             
 said he thinks that ceiling is reached for an employee who makes              
 about $11,000.                                                                
 Number 413                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred to page 8 of the Executive Summary           
 and said it appears there are a number of construction trade type             
 occupations that were covered by the STEP Program, including                  
 painters, electricians, plumbers, pipe steam fitters, carpenters,             
 roofers and sheet medal workers.  He asked if this isn't something            
 that the craft councils of the various unions provide their                   
 employees.  He asked if the DCRA is duplicating something or if               
 they are subsidizing the unions.  MR. MICKELSON said the organized            
 trades tend to have very well structured and organized training               
 modules and components.  If they want to be included, they have to            
 make a case for need.  Mr. Mickelson said from his own personal               
 experience, the painters were never going to go into places like              
 Kotzebue, etc., to recruit and provide training for people.  They             
 didn't have it within their budget.  That type of threshold of need           
 is required before the department would select them for training.             
 He said he believes Anchorage and Fairbanks has similar criteria in           
 that they are not going to provide unlimited subsidizes to                    
 organizations that are already covered.                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if these people are getting jobs and            
 where are they going.  MR. MICKELSON said he believes that in the             
 overall report there are some result summaries that do indicate               
 that the program is working.  Of course on an individual bases,               
 there may be times when an individual does not become employed.  He           
 said the DCRA's expectation is that they'll return to work.  The              
 expectation of the program is that there will be a reduced demand             
 on the unemployment insurance trust fund.  He said he believes that           
 after six years of operation, the evidence suggests that the                  
 program is working.                                                           
 Number 615                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked how most of the training is                     
 conducted.  He questioned whether it is conducted through                     
 vocational education schools or with employers.  MR. MICKELSON said           
 the training is provided under all those methodologies.  Programs             
 such as "On the Job Training" have been offered directly with                 
 private employers.  There have been programs offered through                  
 existing educational agencies such as the Alaska Vocational                   
 Technical Center in Seward, branches of the university, unions,               
 companies themselves, etc.  There is multitude of delivery                    
 methodologies and options.                                                    
 CHAIRMAN KOTT noted the committee has been given an updated fiscal            
 Number 840                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON made a motion to pass HB 435 out of the House            
 Labor and Commerce Committee with attached fiscal notes and                   
 individual recommendations.                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said another way of describing HB 435 is a              
 mini dedicated state income tax.  Since it does seem to be doing              
 some good, he stated he wouldn't object to moving the bill.                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if he is correct in assuming that the           
 fiscal note is a wash and it wouldn't affect the general fund                 
 budget.  MR. PERKINS said Representative Rokeberg is correct as               
 there are no additional general funds or federal funds in the                 
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said there is a motion before the committee to move             
 HB 435.  Hearing no objection HB 435 was moved out of the House               
 Labor and Commerce Committee.                                                 
 HB 266 - HEALTH CARE PREFERRED PROVIDER PROGRAMS                            
 Number 1011                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the last order of business to come before             
 the committee was HB 266, "An Act relating to preferred provider              
 agreements offered by hospital or medical service corporations."              
 He said Representative Rokeberg had been working on a committee               
 substitute during the interim in a subcommittee.  He said he would            
 like him to briefly report the committee substitute back to the               
 main committee.                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he would offer for the consideration             
 of the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee, to move from              
 the subcommittee back to the full committee, a committee substitute           
 for HB 266, dated 9/18/95, 9LS0593/G Ford.  Representative Rokeberg           
 made a motion to adopt CSHB 266(L&C).                                         
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said there was a committee substitute prepared during           
 one of the interim meetings held on this matter.  A quorum wasn't             
 present to adopt the committee substitute.  CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if            
 there was an objection to adopting the committee substitute.                  
 Hearing none, it was so ordered.                                              
 CHAIRMAN KOTT adjourned the House Labor and Commerce Committee                
 meeting at 5:07 p.m.                                                          

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