Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/13/1993 01:30 PM Senate L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
               SENATE LABOR AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE                             
                         April 13, 1993                                        
                            1:30 p.m.                                          
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
  Senator Tim Kelly, Chairman                                                  
  Senator Steve Rieger, Vice Chairman                                          
  Senator Bert Sharp                                                           
  Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                   
  Senator Judy Salo                                                            
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  All present                                                                  
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  HOUSE BILL NO. 101                                                           
  "An Act relating to the  adoption of the National Electrical                 
  Code and the National Electrical Safety Code."                               
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 102(FIN)                                               
  "An Act relating  to the Alaska Labor  Relations Agency; and                 
  providing for an effective date."                                            
  SENATE BILL NO. 184                                                          
  "An  Act  relating  to  civil  liability  of  employees  and                 
  volunteers of certain nonprofit corporations; and  providing                 
  for an effective date."                                                      
  SENATE BILL NO. 188                                                          
  "An Act permitting certain  municipalities to participate in                 
  the deferred compensation program for state employees."                      
  SENATE BILL NO. 177                                                          
  "An Act  relating to  salmon marketing,  a salmon  marketing                 
  tax,  and  the  Alaska   Seafood  Marketing  Institute;  and                 
  providing for an effective date."                                            
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
  HB 101 - See Labor & Commerce minutes dated 3/23/93.                         
  HB 102 - See Labor & Commerce minutes dated 3/23/93.                         
  SB 184 - No previous action to consider.                                     
  SB 188 - No previous action to consider.                                     
  SB 177 - See Labor & Commerce minutes dated 4/8/93.                          
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  Josh Fink, Legislative Aide                                                  
   to Senator Kelly                                                            
  State Capitol                                                                
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HB 101 and HB 102                           
  Senator Steve Frank                                                          
  State Capitol                                                                
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SB 184.                                      
  Mike Ford, Attorney                                                          
  Division of Legal Services                                                   
  Legislative  Affairs Agency                                                  
  130 Seward, #404                                                             
  Juneau, Alaska 99801-1219                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 184.                                    
  Joe Ambrose, Legislative Aide                                                
   to Senator Robin Taylor                                                     
  State Capitol                                                                
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 188.                                    
  Pete Halgren, Assembly member                                                
  City/Borough of Sitka                                                        
  P.O. Box 1203                                                                
  Sitka, Alaska 99835                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 188.                                       
  Bob Stalnaker, Director                                                      
  Division of Retirement and Benefits                                          
  Department of Administration                                                 
  P.O. Box 110203                                                              
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-0203                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SB 188.                                         
  Richard Lauber                                                               
  321 Highland                                                                 
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 188.                                    
  Dean Paddock                                                                 
  Bristol Bay Driftnetters Association                                         
  P.O. Box 20312                                                               
  Juneau, Alaska 99802                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 188.                                    
  Kim Elton, Executive Director                                                
  Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute                                           
  1111 W. 8th St. Suite 100                                                    
  Juneau, Alaska 99801-1895                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 177.                                       
  Kate Troll                                                                   
  Southeast Alaska Seiners Association                                         
  9226 Long Run Drive                                                          
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 177.                                    
  Commissioner Paul Fuhs                                                       
  Department of Commerce and Economic Development                              
  P.O. Box 110800                                                              
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-0800                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 177.                                       
  Tom Tilden                                                                   
  Dillingham, Alaska                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SB 177.                                         
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 93-28, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 001                                                                   
  SENATOR KELLY called  the Senate Labor and  Commerce meeting                 
  to  order  at  1:30  p.m.  and  announced  HB  101 (NATIONAL                 
  ELECTRICAL CODE) to be up for consideration.                                 
  JOSH FINK, Legislative Aide to  Senator Kelly, explained the                 
  proposed changes  in SCS HB  101(L&C), which was  before the                 
  committee for its consideration.                                             
  SENATOR SHARP moved to adopt SCS HB 101(L&C).  There were no                 
  objections and it was so ordered.                                            
  SENATOR SHARP moved to  pass SCS HB 101(L&C) from  committee                 
  with individual  recommendations.  There were  no objections                 
  and it was so ordered.                                                       
  SENATOR KELLY announced  CSHB 102(FIN) (PANEL MEMBERS  ON AK                 
  LABOR REL. AGENCY) to be up for consideration.                               
  JOSH  FINK  explained  the  proposed  changes  in  SCS  CSHB
  102(L&C)  which   was   before   the   committee   for   its                 
  SENATOR SALO moved to  adopt SCS CSHB 102(L&C).   There were                 
  no objections and it was so ordered.                                         
  Number 100                                                                   
  SENATOR SALO moved to pass SCS CSHB 102(L&C) from  committee                 
  with individual recommendations.   There were no  objections                 
  and it was so ordered.                                                       
  SENATOR KELLY announced SB 184  (VOLUNTEERS AND EMPLOYEES OF                 
  NONPROFITS) to be up for consideration.                                      
  SENATOR FRANK, sponsor, explained changes made in a proposed                 
  committee substitute .   He said there was support  from the                 
  nonprofit agencies.                                                          
  SENATOR KELLY asked why  on line 6 " recklessness"  was used                 
  with  "gross  negligence...   or  intentional   misconduct."                 
  SENATOR  FRANK explained SB 184 would limit the liability on                 
  simple  negligence, and  recklessness was  a standard  legal                 
  term to be used on a scale of seriousness.                                   
  SENATOR LINCOLN asked him if everyone  who draws a salary is                 
  covered under this provision.  SENATOR FRANK answered yes.                   
  Number 160                                                                   
  SENATOR  FRANK  commented  that  the  amendment  brought the                 
  corporation,  itself, under the Act,  as opposed to just the                 
  volunteers and employees.                                                    
  SENATOR LINCOLN asked why  "certain non-profit corporations"                 
  was inserted on page 1, line 1.                                              
  MIKE FORD,  Legislative Legal Counsel,  explained the  Title                 
  refers  to  civil  liability  of   only  the  employees  and                 
  volunteers.    This  is  actually   a  third  category,  the                 
  corporation, itself.  It is in addition to the employees and                 
  MR. FORD said they were capping the civil liability  damages                 
  for employees  and volunteers at $200,000 and $500,000.  The                 
  employer volunteer, himself, is not liable.  The corporation                 
  is liable up to the insured amount.                                          
  SENATOR  SALO  asked  if  there  is already  some  liability                 
  protection for non-profits.   MR. FORD responded  that there                 
  is a  provision in AS  09.17 that provides  limited immunity                 
  for officers and  directors of  non-profits.  The  employees                 
  and volunteers  are protected  in  the same  manner in  this                 
  Number 275                                                                   
  SENATOR KELLY closed  the public hearing on SB  184, stating                 
  that the bill would be held in committee.                                    
  SENATOR KELLY announced SB 188  (MUNICIPAL PARTICIPATION ST.                 
  DEFERRED COMP) to be up for consideration.                                   
  JOE AMBROSE, staff to Senator  Taylor, said the City/Borough                 
  of Sitka requested this bill.                                                
  PETE HALGREN, Sitka Assembly, said he didn't think this bill                 
  would add any  employees or cause additional  expense to the                 
  state.  He said the state has much better buying power  than                 
  a city in  terms of  the investments made  for the  deferred                 
  compensation  program.      This   bill   allows   political                 
  subdivisions  that  are   participating  in  the  Supplement                 
  Benefits System (SBS)  program to go  to the state  deferred                 
  compensation program.                                                        
  SENATOR KELLY asked who he thought should have the liability                 
  to make sure those funds are  accurate.  MR. HALGREN said he                 
  didn't  have a problem  with the  City having  the liability                 
  that the money  the state transfers  is accurate.   However,                 
  once  the money  is  transferred,  it  goes  to  Great  West                 
  Insurance, and  neither the City  nor the state  should have                 
  liability for investment losses.                                             
  BOB   STALNAKER,  Director,   Division  of   Retirement  and                 
  Benefits, said they  don't support SB 188, because the state                 
  is   not  the  appropriate  entity  to  administer  deferred                 
  compensation  plans  for other  political subdivisions.   He                 
  remarked   that   there   are   private   sector   financial                 
  institutions  and  insurance  companies  that  will  provide                 
  deferred  compensation plans  for  any  employer, public  or                 
  Secondly,  if  Alaska  Federal  is   eliminating  14  or  15                 
  different public employers,  he didn't think  it was a  good                 
  idea to limit  this to just  those who are participating  in                 
  the  SBS program.   There is  no tie  with the  457 deferred                 
  compensation plan and  social security,  he explained.   The                 
  fact that a public  employer may be participating in  social                 
  security   doesn't  mean   they   don't   need  a   deferred                 
  compensation plan or  that they  wouldn't like  to have  the                 
  same advantage Sitka would gain from this.  The  457 plan is                 
  a  provision in  the Internal  Revenue  Code that  allows an                 
  employer to sponsor a plan.                                                  
  This bill intends to allow  the Department of Administration                 
  to become a  third party  administrator for these  political                 
  SENATOR KELLY asked  if we were doing any of that right now.                 
  MR. STALNAKER said we weren't.   He said they have estimated                 
  it would increase their staff by two people which he thought                 
  was   a  conservative   estimate   on  what   the  interface                 
  requirements would be in accepting contributions.                            
  Number 435                                                                   
  SENATOR SALO asked him to explain  how limiting the scope of                 
  participation wasn't fair.  MR. STALNAKER explained that you                 
  cannot  participate  in  supplemental  benefits  if  you are                 
  participating in social security.                                            
  MR. STALNAKER said  the cost to the  state for administering                 
  the program is  .95 percent which is supposed  to be paid by                 
  the participants.   He admitted that there  are economies of                 
  scale with larger groups.                                                    
  SENATOR LINCOLN commented  that she  didn't think the  costs                 
  had been  explored fully.  She asked  if he had been working                 
  with  Senator Taylor's office to come up with some solution.                 
  He said he  had not discussed the issue with his office, but                 
  he would like to.                                                            
  MR. STALNAKER  said the difficulty with the  fiscal note was                 
  that it should be considered  for all political subdivisions                 
  and not  just a  few, because  if Sitka does  it this  year,                 
  Ketchikan will do it next year,  etc. They are talking about                 
  varying degrees of sophistication with different employers.                  
  TAPE 93-28, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 580                                                                   
  MR.  HALGREN  said he  wanted it  made  clear they  were not                 
  trying to  get into anything  different than what  the state                 
  already has.                                                                 
  SENATOR SALO  asked if  he thought  it a good  idea for  the                 
  state  to charge a 1.5 percent fee.   MR. STALNAKER said no.                 
  The Department's position is that  they shouldn't be getting                 
  into the role of a third party administrator for third party                 
  political subdivisions when those concerns can be met in the                 
  private sector.                                                              
  SENATOR KELLY said they would hold the bill for another time                 
  and announced a 10 minute recess.                                            
  Number 525                                                                   
  SENATOR KELLY  announced SB 177 (SALMON  MARKETING, TAX;ASMI                 
  BOARD & DUTIES) to be up for consideration.                                  
  MR.  FINK  explained  the  changes   contained  in  the  new                 
  committee  substitute which  were included  after discussion                 
  during the previous meeting.                                                 
  SENATOR LINCOLN  asked what guarantees  that representatives                 
  from the small discrete fisheries on the Yukon and Kuskokwim                 
  Rivers,  and Norton  and  Kotzebue Sound  were  going to  be                 
  heard.  MR. FINK said  there were no provisions  stipulating                 
  those concerns.  He said  this bill restricts administrative                 
  costs to 10 percent and the remaining 90 percent would go to                 
  domestic marketing.                                                          
  RICK   LAUBER,   Pacific  Seafood   Processors  Association,                 
  commented that the language on page 4, line 7 was confusing.                 
  It   could   be   interpreted    as   establishing   grades,                 
  classifications, etc.  instead  of  establishing  a  futures                 
  market.  The language he suggested was "...product forms and                 
  to explore  the development  of futures  markets for  salmon                 
  DEAN PADDOCK, Bristol Bay Driftnetters Association, said the                 
  fishermen want to  be reassured  that if they  are going  to                 
  pay, they are going to be able to play a substantial part in                 
  determining where the money goes and that is accomplished by                 
  deleting the "9" on line 29 and adding "8."                                  
  SENATOR LINCOLN  asked what assurance there is  that it will                 
  not tax  the fisherman  whose product  occupies a  specialty                 
  market niche without providing visible benefits to them.                     
  Number 440                                                                   
  MR.  ELTON  said there  probably  isn't any  assurance.   He                 
  pointed out that  the market is extremely  diverse and there                 
  are many new product forms.                                                  
  A  representative  from  the  Alaska  Trollers   Association                 
  opposed SB 177.   Trollers feel that marketing is  not their                 
  problem,  she  said.   Not  catching  enough  fish is  their                 
  SENATOR RIEGER moved to adopt the amendment and then asked a                 
  question on "e".  He thought they should refer to the "whole                 
  salmon  enhancement tax" instead  of "three percent" because                 
  the figure may vary.                                                         
  KATE TROLL, Southeast  Alaska Seiners Association, explained                 
  that they want  to be able  to petition the Commissioner  of                 
  Department of Commerce and Economic  Development directly to                 
  repeal   the  tax  because  they  didn't  want  to  have  an                 
  institutional perspective involved.                                          
  PAUL FUHS explained the  only provisions in there are  for a                 
  repeal, because other  people might want  to change it.   He                 
  said  it  is  a matter  of  democracy  that  the people  who                 
  establish it should have the right to vote on it.                            
  SENATOR SALO asked  if there wasn't  an easier way to  solve                 
  the   problem  of   having  to   repeal  everything   before                 
  instituting a new tax  rate.  COMMISSIONER FUHS said  he did                 
  believe this was  the most direct way to do it given all the                 
  Number 275                                                                   
  TOM  TILDEN, a  commercial fisherman  from Dillingham,  said                 
  there was  a lot of  opposition to the  bill in its  present                 
  form.  There  was a lot of  fear regarding who was  going to                 
  dominate  the  governing board.    He  said  there  were  no                 
  stipulations  for the  commercial  fishermen although  there                 
  were  for  the  processors.   He  feared  domination  by the                 
  seafood processors.                                                          
  SENATOR KELLY asked if there was objection to the amendment.                 
  SENATOR SALO and  SENATOR LINCOLN objected.   SENATOR SHARP,                 
  SENATOR RIEGER,  and SENATOR  KELLY supported the  amendment                 
  and the amendment was adopted.                                               
  SENATOR  RIEGER  moved to  pass the  CSSB  177 (L&C)  out of                 
  committee with individual  recommendations.  SENATOR LINCOLN                 
  objected.  She pointed out that there has been  considerable                 
  language change  to the bill and there were other amendments                 
  that  need  to  be  made  before   it  moves  to  the  other                 
  committees.  SENATOR KELLY said there was ample time to look                 
  at the changes before it moved from the Finance Committee.                   
  SALO  favored  moving  the  bill  and  SENATOR  LINCOLN  was                 
  opposed.     The Chairman stated  the motion to move  SB 177                 
  out of committee had passed.                                                 
  SENATOR KELLY adjourned the meeting at 2:55 p.m.                             

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