Legislature(1993 - 1994)

01/25/1994 08:00 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                            
                        January 25, 1994                                       
                            8:00 a.m.                                          
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
  Representative Al Vezey, Chairman                                            
  Representative Pete Kott, Vice Chairman                                      
  Representative Bettye Davis                                                  
  Representative Gary Davis                                                    
  Representative Jerry Sanders                                                 
  Representative Harley Olberg                                                 
  Representative Fran Ulmer                                                    
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  HB 277:   "An Act relating to public employers defending and                 
             indemnifying public employees with respect to                     
             claims arising out of conduct that is within the                  
             scope of employment."                                             
             HEARD AND HELD                                                    
  HJR 22:    Proposing amendments to the Constitution of                       
             the State of Alaska relating to membership of                     
             the legislature.                                                  
             HEARD AND HELD                                                    
  *HB 345:  "An Act relating to the preservation of public                     
             facilities and to appropriations for annual                       
             maintenance and repair, periodic renewal and                      
             replacement, and construction of public                           
             HEARD AND HELD OVER                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER                                                  
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  State Capitol Building, Room 122                                             
  Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                       
  Phone:  465-4930                                                             
  Position Statement:  Prime sponsor of SCHB 277                               
  TERRY CRAMER, Legislative Legal Counsel                                      
  Division of Legal Services                                                   
  Legislative Affairs Agency                                                   
  130 Seward Street, Room 407                                                  
  Juneau, AK  99801-2105                                                       
  Phone:  465-2450                                                             
  Position Statement:  Commented on CSHB 277                                   
  LARRY LABOLLE                                                                
  Aide to Representative Richard Foster                                        
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  State Capitol Building, Room 420                                             
  Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                       
  Phone:  465-3789                                                             
  Position Statement:  Commented on HJR 22                                     
  REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES                                               
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  State Capitol Building, Room 501                                             
  Juneau, AK  99801-2105                                                       
  Phone:  465-3743                                                             
  Position Statement:  Prime sponsor of HB 345                                 
  JERRY NEWBERT, Assistant Vice-President                                      
  Facilities, University of Alaska                                             
  Statewide System Office                                                      
  910 Yukon Drive                                                              
  Fairbanks, AK  99775-2388                                                    
  Position Statement:  Testified in support of HB 345                          
  ROD WILSON, Architect                                                        
  Department of Transportation & Public Facilities                             
  3132 Channel Drive                                                           
  Juneau  AK  99801                                                            
  Phone: 465-6962                                                              
  Position Statement:  Commented on HB 345                                     
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
  BILL:  HB 277                                                                
  SPONSOR(S):   REPRESENTATIVE(S) PORTER                                       
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  04/07/93      1070    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  04/07/93      1070    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY,                        
  01/18/94              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  01/18/94              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  01/25/94              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  BILL:  HJR 22                                                                
  SHORT TITLE:  LEGISLATURE OF 25 SENATORS, 50 REPS                            
  SPONSOR(S):   REPRESENTATIVE(S) FOSTER, Davidson                             
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  02/01/93       197    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  02/01/93       197    (H)   CRA, STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY,                   
  02/05/93       240    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): DAVIDSON                           
  04/13/93              (H)   CRA AT 01:30 PM CAPITOL 124                      
  04/13/93              (H)   MINUTE(CRA)                                      
  04/14/93      1198    (H)   CRA RPT  3DP 3NR                                 
  04/14/93      1198    (H)   DP: WILLIAMS, SANDERS, OLBERG                    
  04/14/93      1198    (H)   NR: TOOHEY, WILLIS, BUNDE                        
  04/14/93      1198    (H)   NR: TOOHEY, WILLIS, BUNDE                        
  04/14/93      1198    (H)   -2 FISCAL NOTES (GOV, LAA)                       
  01/25/94              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  BILL:  HB 345                                                                
  SPONSOR(S):   REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES                                        
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/07/94      2018    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                 
  01/10/94      2018    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/10/94      2018    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE                           
  01/25/94              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 94-5, SIDE A                                                            
  Number 001                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN AL VEZEY called the meeting to order at 8:00 a.m.,                  
  Tuesday, January 25, 1994. It was noted that this meeting                    
  would be on teleconference with Anchorage and Fairbanks.                     
  Members present were Representatives Vezey, Kott, Ulmer, B.                  
  Davis, G. Davis, Sanders, and Olberg.                                        
  HB 277 - INDEMNIFICATION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES                                 
  Number 032                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER presented CSHB 277.  He said the                 
  committee substitute addresses a number of concerns put                      
  forth by the Department of Law.  He reiterated comments of                   
  last week regarding  SEC. 1A and SEC. B.                                     
  REPRESENTATIVE PORTER further explained that an employer is                  
  not required to provide indemnification if that employer                     
  feels that the act was outside the scope of employment or as                 
  a result of gross negligence or an intentional act.  If this                 
  is the allegation of the employer and the employer has been                  
  dropped from the suit or never was named in the suit, the                    
  remedy of the employee it to bring suit if he or she feels                   
  that indemnification is still justified under this act.  If                  
  the employer is named in the suit and still refuses to                       
  indemnify, there is a provision for a cross claim by the                     
  employee.  If the employer takes advantage of the provision                  
  that allows for indemnification to the extent of providing a                 
  defense for the employee, but reserves the right to                          
  indemnify damages until the end of the proceeding, which may                 
  or may not establish that there was outside of the scope of                  
  gross negligence, they may do so.  The employees remedy then                 
  is, within one year, to file suit for indemnification under                  
  this act.  He went on to say the suggestion by the                           
  department that an employee must notify his or her employer                  
  within ten days can be waived for good cause and cited an                    
  REPRESENTATIVE PORTER continued with an overview of letters                  
  of support, starting with the letter from Kent. E. Swisher                   
  from the Alaska Municipal League.  In addition, he noted the                 
  updated memo from the Anchorage Telephone Utility, a letter                  
  of endorsement by Michael Grimes, statewide President of                     
  Alaska Peace Officers Association, and a letter from the                     
  Alaska Association Chiefs of Police.                                         
  REPRESENTATIVE PORTER noted the presence of Terry Cramer                     
  from the Division of Legal Services, Legislative Affairs                     
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked Representative Porter if there                    
  were other public entities that have a problem in this area.                 
  REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he has been aware of individual                   
  employees, who have expressed concern over the years about                   
  being vulnerable.  He further noted that municipalities                      
  change policy, potentially every four years.                                 
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked for clarification regarding                       
  punitive damages to the employee.                                            
  Number 207                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said that it is not a requirement                      
  under this legislation, but it also does not preclude it.                    
  He further stated that a labor contract or any other policy                  
  may provide for punitive damages, but it is not mandated by                  
  this bill.                                                                   
  Number 261                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY referenced the Fairbanks ordinance                      
  outlining indemnification.  He noted the importance of local                 
  self-determination, and voiced a concern about usurping                      
  that.  He asked if there was a provision to allow a                          
  municipality's ordinance to supercede state law in cases of                  
  Number 317                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE PORTER responded by saying that as a sponsor                  
  of the bill, he did not have a problem with language that                    
  would defer to the codification of public employee                           
  indemnification that exceeds what is outlined in HB 277.                     
  REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked Representative Gary Davis, as a                  
  former municipal official, if he had a problem with HB 277.                  
  REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS said he supported the bill.                          
  Number 346                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked Representative Ulmer if she had                   
  anything to share regarding this legislation, as a former                    
  municipal official.                                                          
  REPRESENTATIVE FRAN ULMER responded by saying she supports                   
  the policy goal of statewide uniformity that the bill puts                   
  forth.  She asked for clarification in cases of age, race or                 
  specifically, sexual harassment cases.                                       
  Number 361                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE PORTER reiterated the provisions in the bill                  
  regarding gross negligence, the options of the employer and                  
  the employee, in a situation where they do not agree on                      
  Number 368                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked Terry Cramer if she had any                       
  comments or insights on how the employer would proceed,                      
  internally, whether or not they should provide counsel.                      
  Number 407                                                                   
  TERRY CRAMER, DIVISION OF LEGAL SERVICES, said that it would                 
  be up to the individual public employer to follow whatever                   
  procedures they have established for those kinds of                          
  Number 412                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS echoed comments made by Terry                        
  Cramer:  the individual employer usually has a sexual                        
  harassment policy in place which outlines procedures to deal                 
  with decisions regarding sexual harassment.  He pointed out                  
  that though wording in the bill defining "scope of                           
  employment" and "good faith" can be subject to                               
  interpretation, in sexual harassment cases, there is most                    
  often a separate policy specific to that issue.                              
  Number 432                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE PORTER followed up by saying that "scope of                   
  employment" and "good faith" have generally accepted                         
  Number 443                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER moved to adopt CSHB 277                                 
  Number 450                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY called for a roll call vote.  CSHB was MOVED                  
  out of committee with a unanimous vote.                                      
  HJR 22 - LEGISLATURE OF 25 SENATORS, 50 REPS                                 
  Number 472                                                                   
  on HJR 22.  He said that the resolution was primarily                        
  introduced to create awareness of the potential for                          
  increasing the size of the legislature to improve                            
  representation.  He went on to say that with the current                     
  redistricting, the rural districts have become impossibly                    
  MR. LABOLLE stated that this issue has come up before in the                 
  state of Alaska.  There have been, since statehood, two                      
  resolutions to suggest that the size of the legislature                      
  should be increased.  He stated, when Representative Foster                  
  was preparing this legislation, it was decided that 60 House                 
  members and 30 Senate members would be appropriate.                          
  He further discussed the problems of Representative Foster's                 
  district.  The Yupik contingent feel they are not fairly                     
  MR. LABOLLE said that Representative Foster did not                          
  necessarily intend for this resolution to make it through                    
  this legislative session, but wanted to create awareness.                    
  He also stated the advantages of passing this bill would be                  
  that it would be less costly to run for office.  Presently                   
  the high cost of travel while campaigning precludes many                     
  people from being effective candidates, and as such, there                   
  is a certain contingent of the state that is disenfranchised                 
  from running for the legislature.                                            
  MR. LABOLLE said in closing he felt the fiscal notes were                    
  unrealistic.  He said that a 25 percent increase in the size                 
  of the legislature should not double the cost of the                         
  legislature.  Assuming that there would be a larger pool to                  
  draw from to fill the same committees, it would not                          
  necessarily mean the committee size had to increase.  He                     
  further stated that there would be some increase in staff,                   
  but with fewer committee assignments the staff could be                      
  distributed among the legislators.                                           
  REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT asked if there were any statistics                  
  or numbers that would indicate the largest and smallest                      
  states based on population and the number of legislators in                  
  those states.                                                                
  Number 536                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY responded to Representative Kott's                      
  question by pointing out that the information was summarized                 
  in the Blue Book.                                                            
  Number 540                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE HARLEY OLBERG said that population is not as                  
  much a concern as geography.                                                 
  Number 552                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY commented on the fiscal note.                           
  Number 557                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER made a motion to pass HJR 22                            
  CHAIRMEN VEZEY called for a roll call vote.  Representatives                 
  Vezey, Ulmer, B. Davis, G. Davis, Sanders and Olberg voted                   
  YES.  Representative Kott voted NO.                                          
  HJR 22 PASSED out of Committee with individual                               
  HB 345 - PRESERVATION OF PUBLIC FACILITIES                                   
  Number 584                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES, prime sponsor of HB 345,                     
  read from the sponsor statement to the committee (attachment                 
  on file).  She stated the intent of this bill is to put a                    
  priority on maintenance by putting a line item in the                        
  budget, so that it is identified as the formula that is                      
  required to maintain the buildings in order to protect the                   
  state's capital assets.                                                      
  Number 637                                                                   
  PRESIDENT FOR FACILITIES in the Statewide System Office of                   
  the University of Alaska, spoke in support of HB 345.  He                    
  informed the committee of the maintenance needed at the                      
  University and said that more operating funds were needed.                   
  In addition, he said that the University has a sizable                       
  backlog of deferred maintenance, which is the result of                      
  underfunding the operating budget categories.  He said that                  
  projects are often underfunded.                                              
  MR. NEWBERT went on to say that the University is not                        
  predicting to fund any new positions as a result of this                     
  bill, because they would be contracting with the public                      
  Number 689                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if we a trying to force the                       
  legislature to appropriate money, when in the past there has                 
  been an absence of commitment to fund maintenance of the                     
  physical plant in the state of Alaska.                                       
  TAPE 94-5, SIDE B                                                            
  Number 001                                                                   
  MR. NEWBERT responded to Representative Vezey by saying that                 
  this bill points the emphasis in the right direction.  The                   
  correct emphasis should be on maintenance of what we have                    
  and not in the expansion mode.  Mr. Newbert introduced                       
  KATHLEEN SHEDLER, director of the University of Alaska                       
  Fairbanks Office of Planning and Project Services.  He added                 
  that her department has procurement authority to do the                      
  planning and construction for projects at the UAF.                           
  Number 043                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked for questions from the committee.                 
  Number 049                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS asked if the Department of                       
  Transportation was going to testify.                                         
  Number 060                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT referenced page 2, line 16..." the                       
  legislature must appropriate the necessary funds for new                     
  construction or for renovation or remodeling of public                       
  facilities."  He said this was vague and asked if this was                   
  referencing the requirements established by Department of                    
  Transportation, based on their visits to these public                        
  facilities on an annual basis.                                               
  Number 090                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded, the funding would be based                   
  on a formula the department has for maintenance of buildings                 
  based on type, age and cost of the building.   The formula                   
  should provide a projection of how much is needed for the                    
  facilities, and it is the intention of this legislation to                   
  fully fund before building new facilities, and that when new                 
  legislation is on the table the same formula should be                       
  applied.  She added that it should be understood that                        
  formula monies for the cost of maintaining a new facility                    
  will be coming from the general operating funds in future                    
  years to cover maintenance of that building.                                 
  Number 109                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT commented and questioned the sponsor if                  
  this legislation would commit future legislatures to this                    
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded in the affirmative.                           
  Number 120                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES further pointed out there are other                     
  options if the state needs a capitol building.  She went on                  
  to say that if the state does not want to commit to the                      
  funding of the operating and maintenance cost of a facility,                 
  there is always the option of leasing a building.                            
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked for questions.  Being none he                     
  introduced ROD WILSON, ARCHITECT, DEPARTMENT OF                              
  TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC FACILITIES, in the headquarters                    
  office in Juneau.                                                            
  ROD WILSON discussed the perspectives of the Department of                   
  Transportation.  He mentioned attending a committee meeting                  
  of the Alaska State Facility Administrators.   He said this                  
  organization of which he is a member, did not know how to                    
  write a budget in order to get the adequate funding for                      
  operating, renewal and replacement.  As a result, they                       
  received inadequate funding.  He went on to say that the                     
  lack of funding forced them to take funds from the                           
  maintenance end of the budget in order to keep a facility                    
  MR. WILSON said another problem area was that typically the                  
  money is allocated into department budgets.  When this                       
  happens, often the funds are again taken from the                            
  maintenance funds for program operations.                                    
  MR. WILSON reiterated the importance of requesting adequate                  
  funding for facilities by incorporating long-term                            
  maintenance costs in the request.                                            
  Number 200                                                                   
  MR. WILSON said that the Department of Transportation and                    
  Public Facilities supports HB 345 for the most part.  He                     
  suggested the Department of Transportation be given more                     
  authority over the disbursement of funds outlined within HB
  345, so that the funds can be redirected more appropriately                  
  toward facility request as opposed to the operational                        
  request.  The department further requested the renewal and                   
  replacement funds segment be put into a capital expenditure                  
  as opposed to an operational expenditure, so they have the                   
  ability to carry funds over.                                                 
  In conclusion, MR. WILSON voiced a concern of the department                 
  regarding the provision in the bill that mandates the                        
  completion of repairs on current facilities before building                  
  any new facilities.  He went on to say that the                              
  responsibility and the final decision is at the legislative                  
  Number 270                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY questioned the productiveness and                       
  substantive ability of HB 345.                                               
  Number 286                                                                   
  MR. WILSON said it would be productive from the standpoint                   
  of providing direction as to the intention of how the money                  
  is spent, and providing information to the legislature about                 
  how far the state is falling behind on the deferred                          
  maintenance curve.  He pointed out at present, the state is                  
  approximately over three million dollars in arrears in                       
  deferred maintenance.                                                        
  Number 305                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the bill addresses the rural                   
  schools and village safe water projects, many of which have                  
  not been constructed; many of which have and are no longer                   
  MR. WILSON said he could not comment on the public schools,                  
  but went on to say the fiscal note and position paper does                   
  not address public schools or those other facilities.                        
  MR. WILSON said the backlog that the department is talking                   
  about is strictly state-owned, state-operated facilities.                    
  Number 320                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated that the figure in the fiscal note was                 
  only about half or less of total cost.                                       
  Number 321                                                                   
  MR. WILSON agreed.  He said he did not know what the                         
  Department of Education turned in for a fiscal note.                         
  Number 322                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked Representative James if there was a                     
  fiscal note from the Department of Education.                                
  Number 323                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said no.  She went on to comment on                     
  designating funds saying that it is the intent of the                        
  formula funding to give the legislature tools to make a                      
  decision and to give the legislature, the people who work                    
  for the state of Alaska, and the general public the                          
  information that is required to fund the maintenance of                      
  capital facilities.                                                          
  Number 348                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked how many public facilities and                     
  buildings are being addressed.                                               
  MR. WILSON said there were approximately fifteen hundred to                  
  seventeen hundred.                                                           
  Number 355                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked if he based that on his testimony                  
  from a previous meeting of 1.5 percent?                                      
  Number 357                                                                   
  MR. WILSON pointed out the legislature had appropriated some                 
  funds in 1991 for maintenance and operations of facilities.                  
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said the problem she saw with the                       
  fiscal note was that in fiscal 1995, there is a sixty one                    
  million dollar request, but also that sixty one million                      
  dollars is going to show up in the budget request, although                  
  it will be a lesser amount because it is not fully funded in                 
  the budget, thereby, double reporting the money.   She went                  
  on to say that the provision of a formula funding outlined                   
  in HB 345 would clarify the allocation of funds.                             
  Number 411                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS asked if there was a cost benefit                    
  ratio; leasing over owning.                                                  
  Number 425                                                                   
  MR. WILSON speculated that it was an equal amount of leased                  
  space to owned space.                                                        
  DUGAN PETTY from General Services Division, Department of                    
  Administration, agreed with Mr. Wilson's comments.                           
  Number 435                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT referenced page 2 line 21 "...  The                      
  department shall from time to time, examine all existing                     
  public buildings...." and asked Mr. Wilson to describe what                  
  "time to time" means.                                                        
  Number 441                                                                   
  MR. WILSON said the Department of Transportation has very                    
  few facility planners and usually see those buildings                        
  approximately once every ten years.  The last comprehensive                  
  update and analysis of public facilities was carried out in                  
  the late 1970's.  He went on to say that it was                              
  approximately a five million dollar capital project just to                  
  gather that information.  The department has recently gone                   
  out and inventoried about 550 state-owned and leased                         
  facilities with regard to ADA compliance.  This particular                   
  task has taken about two years to assemble and probably                      
  three hundred thousand to five hundred thousand dollars of                   
  employee's time and expense into that project.                               
  Number 458                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked if there were any additional questions                  
  or comments.  He asked the committee to review the packet on                 
  the bill and rescheduled HB 345 to be heard in two weeks.                    
  Number 485                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY adjourned at 9:18 a.m.                                        

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