Legislature(2015 - 2016)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/22/2016 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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01:32:01 PM Start
01:32:44 PM Confirmation Hearings
02:18:17 PM SB104
02:41:19 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
Marijuana Control Board
Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
Big Game Commercial Services Board
*+ SB 202 INS. FOR DEPENDS. OF DECEASED FIRE/POLICE TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
-- Public Testimony --
+= SB 104 PERSON W/DISABILITY SAVINGS ACCOUNTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 104(L&C) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          SENATE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                        
                         March 22, 2016                                                                                         
                           1:32 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Mia Costello, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Cathy Giessel, Vice Chair                                                                                               
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Alcoholic Beverage Control Board                                                                                       
          Robert Kelly Evans - Public Rural Seat                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Big Game Commercial Services Board                                                                                     
          Nicholas Jackson - Private Landowner Seat                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Marijuana Control Board                                                                                                
          Loren A. Jones - Public Health Seat                                                                                   
          Peter Jacob Miynarik - Public Safety Seat                                                                             
          Bruce Schulte - Industry Seat                                                                                         
          Brandon Emmett - Industry Seat                                                                                        
          Mark Springer - Rural Seat                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 104                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to financial accounts for persons with                                                                         
disabilities; relating to financial institutions; relating to                                                                   
property exemptions; relating to securities; and providing for                                                                  
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 104(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 202                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to providing medical insurance coverage to                                                                     
certain surviving spouses and dependent children of peace                                                                       
officers and firefighters; and providing for an effective date."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 104                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PERSON W/DISABILITY SAVINGS ACCOUNTS                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) GIESSEL                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
04/11/15       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/11/15       (S)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
02/04/16       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/04/16       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/04/16       (S)       MINUTE (L&C)                                                                                           
03/22/16       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT KELLY EVANS, Appointee - Public Rural Seat                                                                               
Alcoholic Beverage Control Board                                                                                                
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the Alcoholic                                                                  
Beverage Control Board.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
NICHOLAS JACKSON, Appointee - Private Landowner Seat                                                                            
Big Game Commercial Services Board                                                                                              
Gulkana, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the Big Game                                                                   
Commercial Services Board.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE SCHULTE Appointee - Industry Seat                                                                                         
Marijuana Control Board                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the Marijuana                                                                  
Control Board.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
BRANDON EMMETT, Appointee - Industry Seat                                                                                       
Marijuana Control Board                                                                                                         
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the Marijuana                                                                  
Control Board.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mark Springer, Appointee - Rural Seat                                                                                           
Marijuana Control Board                                                                                                         
Bethel, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the Marijuana                                                                  
Control Board.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PETER JACOB MIYNARIK, Appointee - Public Safety Seat                                                                            
Marijuana Control Board                                                                                                         
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the Marijuana                                                                  
Control Board.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Loren A. Jones Appointee - Public Health Seat                                                                                   
Marijuana Control Board                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the Marijuana                                                                  
Control Board.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ED MARTIN, representing himself                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on the appointments to the                                                                     
Marijuana Control Board.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
JEFF JESSEE, Chief Executive Officer                                                                                            
Alaska Mental Health Authority                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 104.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
WESTON EILER, Staff                                                                                                             
Senate Labor and Commerce Standing Committee and                                                                                
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Reviewed the changes in the committee                                                                    
substitute (CS) for SB 104.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JANE CONWAY, Staff                                                                                                              
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:   Spoke to the  changes between version  I and                                                            
version L of SB 104.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
STEWART SPIELMAN, Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel                                                                             
Autism Speaks                                                                                                                   
Maryland                                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions related to SB 104.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHASE REHNWEINKEL, Director of Policy                                                                                           
Illinois State Treasurer                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions relating to SB 104.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PAM LEARY, State Investment Officer                                                                                             
Treasury Division                                                                                                               
Department of Revenue (DOR)                                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions related to SB 104.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
1:32:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MIA COSTELLO  called the Senate Labor and  Commerce Standing                                                            
Committee meeting  to order  at 1:32 p.m.  Present at the  call to                                                              
order  were   Senators  Giessel,  Stevens,  and   Chair  Costello.                                                              
Senator Meyer joined  the committee soon thereafter.  She reviewed                                                              
the agenda including that SB 202 would not be heard today.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
^Confirmation Hearings                                                                                                          
                     Confirmation Hearings                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:32:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO announced  the first  order of  business would  be                                                              
confirmation  hearings.  She explained  that  the committee  would                                                              
hear  from   the  appointees,   take  questions,   and  hold   the                                                              
nominations for committee action at a later date.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                Alcoholic Beverage Control Board                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:33:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   COSTELLO  said   the   committee   would  first   consider                                                              
nominations to the  five member Alcoholic Beverage  Control Board.                                                              
She asked  Robert Evans to explain  his interest in  continuing to                                                              
serve on the board, filling the public seat.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Meyer joined the committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:34:07 PM                                                                                                                    
ROBERT  KELLY EVANS,  Appointee  -  Public Rural  Seat,  Alcoholic                                                              
Beverage  Control Board, said  he has  lived in  Nome most  of his                                                              
life and is retired  from state service as a  corrections officer.                                                              
After retirement  he started  working at  the regional  nonprofit,                                                              
Kawerak, Incorporated,  primarily on suicide  prevention, underage                                                              
drinking,  adult  binge  drinking,   youth  leadership  and  smart                                                              
choices that  focus on alcohol awareness.  He has been  elected to                                                              
leadership  roles  in the  Sitnasuak  Native Corporation  and  the                                                              
Bering Straits Native  Corporation, and is a  small business owner                                                              
in Nome.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEVENS  thanked  Mr.   Evans  for  retiring  from  state                                                              
service and continuing his public service in the community.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO  asked what  challenges  he  sees that  the  board                                                              
faces going forward.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. EVANS  said the  state's fiscal  crisis will  be a  manageable                                                              
challenge   for   the   board;   meetings   will   be   done   via                                                              
teleconference   and    videoconference   which   will    not   be                                                              
problematic.  Probably the  largest challenge  is the addition  of                                                              
the Marijuana  Control Board and  the seemingly weighted  focus on                                                              
that  new  industry.  He  expressed hope  that  alcohol  won't  be                                                              
shortchanged with the new focus.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:41:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  thanked Mr. Evans  for his service. There  were no                                                              
questions and no public testimony.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
               Big Game Commercial Services Board                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:42:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO  asked  Nicholas  Jackson to  tell  the  committee                                                              
about  his  interest  in  serving   on  the  Big  Game  Commercial                                                              
Services Board in the private landowner seat.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
NICHOLAS  JACKSON, Appointee  - Private Landowner  Seat,  Big Game                                                              
Commercial Services  Board, said he was born in  Copper Center and                                                              
now  lives in  Gulkana. He  worked  for the  Alaska Department  of                                                              
Fish  and  Game for  about  10  years,  then started  working  for                                                              
Ahtna, Incorporated  in 1973.  He currently  serves on  the Ahtna,                                                              
Inc. Board  of Directors and  has served  two terms on  the Alaska                                                              
Board of  Game. Knowing the region  and his board service  will be                                                              
beneficial  to his  service on  the Big  Game Commercial  Services                                                              
Board, if confirmed.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:45:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   COSTELLO   asked  if   he   had   any  comments   on   the                                                              
recommendations  put forth  in the  recent audit  of the Big  Game                                                              
Commercial Services Board.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JACKSON said  no; he  has only  attended one  meeting and  is                                                              
familiarizing himself with how the board operates.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO  commented on the  experience he gained  serving on                                                              
the Board  of Game. She  thanked Mr. Jackson  for his  interest in                                                              
serving. She solicited  questions and public testimony,  but found                                                              
none.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                    Marijuana Control Board                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:47:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  asked Bruce  Schulte to  tell the committee  about                                                              
his  interest in  serving  on  the five-member  Marijuana  Control                                                              
Board  in  an  industry  seat.  She  noted  that  this  is  a  new                                                              
committee and  questions would be  taken after members  heard from                                                              
all the nominees.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:48:09 PM                                                                                                                    
BRUCE  SCHULTE  Appointee,  -  Industry  Seat,  Marijuana  Control                                                              
Board,  said he  is  an  architect by  training  and  has been  an                                                              
advocate  for  the marijuana  industry  for  about two  years.  He                                                              
opined that  the board  developed a good  set of regulations  last                                                              
year that strike a reasonable balance.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:49:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO asked  him to  discuss the  challenges facing  the                                                              
Marijuana Control Board going forward.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCHULTE  said one  of the  largest challenges  relates  to the                                                              
fact  that there  wasn't  any solid  data  on  the previous  black                                                              
market.  As  licensed  businesses  get  started,  the  board  will                                                              
probably  learn  about  different   things  it  can  do  with  the                                                              
regulations to meet  the needs of the industry and  the public, he                                                              
said. The fact  that marijuana is federally illegal  also presents                                                              
challenges related  to banking, the Internal Revenue  Service, and                                                              
transportation. Social  inertia is also  a challenge. His  hope is                                                              
that  in  five  years  people  will  describe  the  transition  as                                                              
relatively easy.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:50:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MEYER  asked if  he  anticipates  raising fees  to  cover                                                              
expenses.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCHULTE  said he  expects the  fees will  cover the  operating                                                              
expenses of  the board, but if  they don't the fee  structure will                                                              
be revisited.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO  thanked Mr. Schulte.  She asked Brandon  Emmett to                                                              
tell the  committee about his interest  in continuing to  serve in                                                              
an industry seat on the Marijuana Control Board.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:52:00 PM                                                                                                                    
BRANDON  EMMETT, Appointee,  -  Industry Seat,  Marijuana  Control                                                              
Board,  said he  was born  in Fairbanks  and has  lived in  Alaska                                                              
most of  his life.  He has  worked as  a commercial fisherman,  on                                                              
initiative issues,  and as  a public servant.  He has  always been                                                              
concerned  about marijuana  issues and has  an intimate  knowledge                                                              
of the  marijuana industry,  including the  black market.  He felt                                                              
it was  his responsibility  to use  this knowledge and  experience                                                              
to help  champion a legal, regulated  industry. As a  board member                                                              
he has  tried to provide  a synthesis  of research and  fact-based                                                              
decision making  while taking  public comment into  consideration.                                                              
He looks forward to continuing this work.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:55:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO thanked  Mr.  Emmett for  being  available to  the                                                              
committee.  She asked  Mark Springer  to express  his interest  in                                                              
continuing to  serve on the Marijuana  Control Board in  the rural                                                              
seat.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:56:20 PM                                                                                                                    
Mark Springer,  Appointee - Rural  Seat, Marijuana  Control Board,                                                              
Bethel, Alaska,  informed  the committee  that he currently  lives                                                              
in Bethel and  is employed as a tribal planner  and transportation                                                              
director for the  Tuluksak Native Community. Previously  he served                                                              
on the Alaska Board  of Marine Pilots, and is proud  of the system                                                              
of  citizen regulators  in  Alaska.  The Marijuana  Control  Board                                                              
hopefully  is building  a  new segment  of  Alaska's economy  that                                                              
ultimately will  be beneficial both economically  and socially. He                                                              
is proud  to work  with the  members of  the board  and the  hard-                                                              
working, professional staff.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:58:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO  thanked  Mr.  Springer   for  his  commitment  to                                                              
serving the  state in this capacity.  She asked Peter  Miynarik to                                                              
express  his interest  in  continuing to  serve  on the  Marijuana                                                              
Control Board in the public safety seat.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:59:20 PM                                                                                                                    
PETER JACOB  MIYNARIK, Appointee  - Public Safety  Seat, Marijuana                                                              
Control Board,  said he has been  the chief of police  in Soldotna                                                              
for about  3.5 years.  Before that,  he spent  more than  22 years                                                              
with  the  Alaska  Department  of  Public  Safety  as  a  Wildlife                                                              
Trooper  and  Alaska  State  Trooper.  He  retired  in  2012.  His                                                              
interest  in serving  on the  board is  to protect  the public  in                                                              
general,  and  youth in  particular,  as  this new  industry  gets                                                              
started.  His primary role  on the  board has  been to  help craft                                                              
regulations for  the commercial marijuana industry.  The next step                                                              
is to  review the applications  and potentially approve  licenses.                                                              
His  interest  in  continuing  on  the  board  is  to  follow  the                                                              
industry for the  next several years. Serving on the  board is one                                                              
of the highlights of his career in law enforcement.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:01:50 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MEYER asked  if he  had  any takeaways  from the  January                                                              
2015  conference  in  Colorado   that  looked  at  the  impact  of                                                              
marijuana  on public  safety. He  also asked  how law  enforcement                                                              
can tell when  someone is driving impaired under  the influence of                                                              
marijuana.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. MIYNARIK  said the primary  takeaway was that  law enforcement                                                              
would  face  many  challenges.  How to  tell  someone  is  driving                                                              
impaired under the  influence of marijuana was one  of the issues.                                                              
He explained  that  many of the  regular tests  for driving  under                                                              
the influence  of alcohol don't  apply to marijuana, but  some do.                                                              
Officers  can   get  some   cues  from  driving   characteristics,                                                              
balance, and  the function and tracking  of the eyes. But  what is                                                              
needed  is a portable  test similar  to the  field sobriety  tests                                                              
for  alcohol.  There is  a  blood  test  but timeliness  makes  it                                                              
problematic.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   COSTELLO  thanked   Mr.   Miynarik   for  making   himself                                                              
available.  She  asked Loren  Jones  to  express his  interest  in                                                              
continuing to serve  on the Marijuana Control Board  in the public                                                              
health seat.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:05:40 PM                                                                                                                    
LOREN A. JONES  Appointee - Public Health Seat,  Marijuana Control                                                              
Board,  said he  came to  Alaska  in 1975  and spent  most of  his                                                              
career  in  state service  working  in  alcohol/drug  abuse/mental                                                              
health. Before he  retired he was the director of  the Division of                                                              
Alcoholism  and   Drug  Abuse.  During   that  time  he   was  the                                                              
department  representative  on the  Council  of Domestic  Violence                                                              
and  Sexual Assault.  He listed  the boards  he has  served on  to                                                              
illustrate  that he  has a lot  of regulatory,  board, and  public                                                              
health experience.  He also is serving  a second term on  the City                                                              
and Borough of Juneau Assembly.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He   discussed  the   challenges   facing  the   board  from   the                                                              
perspective  of  a  local  elected official.  He  said  that  even                                                              
though  63  percent   of  the  community  voted   to  support  the                                                              
industry,  there now  is  significant concern  about  regulations,                                                              
neighborhoods,  and compatibility.  Because  of  the state  budget                                                              
situation,  there is  concern  that  the state  won't  be able  to                                                              
enforce  its  regulations  and  monitor  the  industry  and  local                                                              
communities will  need to step in  and do that.  Another challenge                                                              
will be  getting all  the licenses  issued and  ensuring that  the                                                              
local  communities have  input to  either support  or protest  the                                                              
license. He  hopes to be  able to serve  out the remainder  of the                                                              
three-year term and perhaps more.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:09:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO thanked  Mr. Jones for being available  and for his                                                              
past  service  to  the state.  She  opened  public  testimony  and                                                              
requested   that  the   testimony   be  relative   to  the   board                                                              
appointees, not the initiative, the law or the regulations.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:10:30 PM                                                                                                                    
ED MARTIN,  representing himself, stated  that the governor  did a                                                              
good  job of  appointing people  to the  Marijuana Control  Board,                                                              
but  the  ball was  dropped  sometime  prior  to rolling  out  the                                                              
regulations.  He  asked  if  the appointees  are  members  of  the                                                              
Municipal  League or  have participated  in the  black market.  He                                                              
believes that  if they voted against  the initiative they  may not                                                              
be  in the  best  interest  of the  new  regulations  and if  they                                                              
participated  in the black  market they  shouldn't be  considered.                                                              
He pointed  out that one member  is enforcing laws in  a community                                                              
that does  not allow  the use  of marijuana,  and questioned  that                                                              
bias. He  shared a personal  experience related to  the discussion                                                              
of impairment  and related that  there is no quantitative  test to                                                              
determine  impairment   under  the  influence  of   marijuana.  He                                                              
maintained  that the  questions asked  of the  appointees are  not                                                              
sufficient to provide an adequate screening.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:15:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  thanked the appointees  and stated she  would hold                                                              
the names  until the committee had  heard from all  the appointees                                                              
referred  to the  Senate Labor  and  Commerce Standing  Committee.                                                              
The names then would be submitted in one batch.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:15:20 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          SB 104-PERSON W/DISABILITY SAVINGS ACCOUNTS                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:18:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   COSTELLO  reconvened   the  meeting   and  announced   the                                                              
consideration  of SB  104. She  relayed  that this  is the  second                                                              
hearing and public  testimony was closed on 2/4/16.  The intent is                                                              
to  take members'  questions, adopt  a  committee substitute,  and                                                              
look to the will of the committee.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:19:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL  moved to  adopt the  CS for  SB 104, labeled  29-                                                              
LS0702\L, as the working document.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO  objected  for   an  explanation  of  changes  and                                                              
requested Mr. Jessee first provide testimony.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:19:24 PM                                                                                                                    
JEFF  JESSEE,  Chief  Executive   Officer,  Alaska  Mental  Health                                                              
Authority, stated  that he and the  board consider SB 104  to be a                                                              
very  important   piece  of  legislation.   He  related   that  he                                                              
previously was the  senior attorney for the Disability  Law Center                                                              
and had to advise  people with disabilities not  to accumulate any                                                              
resources. The  reason is that it  would make them  ineligible for                                                              
Medicaid. He described  SB 104 as a huge step  forward in allowing                                                              
people with  disabilities to do  things for themselves  and become                                                              
more self-sufficient.  It  allows these individuals  to set  aside                                                              
assets for  legitimate purposes  related  to their disability.  He                                                              
noted that  there is a claw-back  provision so that the  state can                                                              
recover  some  of   the  Medicaid  payments  it   made,  once  the                                                              
individual has passed away.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JESSEE  reported  that the  Alaska  Mental  Health  Authority                                                              
trustees last  week unanimously  voted to  fund the Department  of                                                              
Revenue  fiscal  note  for  SB 104  with  $60,000  in  FY2017  and                                                              
$40,000 in FY2018.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO  expressed surprise  for  the generous  offer  and                                                              
appreciation for  the work the Mental Health  Trust Authority does                                                              
on behalf of Alaskans.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:21:50 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS asked if the contributions are tax deductible.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. JESSEE deferred the question.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:22:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO asked  Mr. Eiler  to explain  the changes  made in                                                              
the CS.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:22:57 PM                                                                                                                    
WESTON   EILER,  Staff,   Senate  Labor   and  Commerce   Standing                                                              
Committee and Senator  Mia Costello, explained that  the committee                                                              
substitute (CS),  version L,  for SB 104  houses the  ABLE Savings                                                              
Program in  the Department of  Revenue rather than  the Department                                                              
of Commerce,  Community and Economic  Development. The  reason for                                                              
the shift  is that  the Division of  Banking and Securities  would                                                              
have been in  charge of auditing and regulating  the same accounts                                                              
it was  administering. The  CS also  changes the  plan from  a 529                                                              
(A) approach,  and looks towards  having the State of  Alaska join                                                              
a consortium of  states to achieve greater economies  of scale for                                                              
the programs.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Section  8 on  pages  15-16, amends  AS  47.10.115(b) relating  to                                                              
permanent  fund  dividends held  in  foster  care trusts.  The  CS                                                              
provides that the  proceeds of the trust will  be distributed when                                                              
the youth  has reached  21  years of age,  is no  longer in  state                                                              
care and has reached  18 years of age or is  emancipated. The idea                                                              
is that this provides bridge funding for these youths as they                                                                   
prepare for adult life.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:26:17 PM                                                                                                                    
JANE   CONWAY,  Staff,   Senator  Cathy   Giessel,  Alaska   State                                                              
Legislature spoke  to the following  prepared overview  of changes                                                              
to from  the original  version I  to the current  version L  of SB
104:                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     When Senate  Bill 104 was introduced, it was  written to                                                                   
     reflect  the  intention of  Alaska  setting up  its  own                                                                   
     ABLE Savings  Program to be  housed and administered  in                                                                   
     the Department of Commerce and Economic Development.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Early on  we heard from  DCCED concerns that  they would                                                                   
     have  a conflict  of  interest  in housing  the  program                                                                   
     since  banking  and securities  would  be in  charge  of                                                                   
     auditing  the  very same  accounts  that they  would  be                                                                   
     administering.   Following  that,  we  then   approached                                                                   
     Dept.  of Revenue  to run  the program  (which is  where                                                                   
     most states  house their ABLE programs) and  they agreed                                                                   
     to work with us on the legislation.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     In  looking for  expertise  in the  area  of 529  plans,                                                                   
     like  Alaska's  college  savings  plan,  we  called  the                                                                   
     folks there  who run that  program out of University  of                                                                   
     Alaska,  Fairbanks.  In  that  conversation  we  learned                                                                   
     that  T.Rowe Price,  one of  the financial  institutions                                                                   
     who  offer  the college  savings  plan  portfolios,  had                                                                   
     told UAA  that they had  no interest in offering  529(A)                                                                   
     plans in  Alaska, as there  is not a healthy  economy of                                                                   
     scale for them  to make it worth their investment  to do                                                                   
     so.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     After  that conversation,  we learned  that is the  same                                                                   
     obstacle  that  other  states   were  experiencing:  not                                                                   
     large  enough numbers  of  possible  account holders  to                                                                   
     make  it economically  viable  for investment  companies                                                                   
     to offer ABLE accounts in most states.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Then we  learned about  a consortium  of states who  are                                                                   
     now  working  together  in   an  effort  to  offer  ABLE                                                                   
     accounts by  joining together and pooling  their numbers                                                                   
     to  attract and  incentivize  financial institutions  to                                                                   
     respond   to  an  RFP   with  ABLE  Account   investment                                                                   
     offerings. If  SB 104 passes, Alaska plans  to join that                                                                   
     consortium  of  8  states (and  more  states  poised  to                                                                   
     join),  be   part  of  the  RFP  process   to  select  a                                                                   
     financial   contractor  to   handle  the  accounts   and                                                                   
     benefit  from  the  economies  of  scale,  resulting  in                                                                   
     lower  account fees  for  Alaska ABLE  account  holders.                                                                   
     The  consortium would  also  provide a  call center  and                                                                   
     assist in marketing assistance for its members.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Currently  our office  and  our Dept.  of Revenue  folks                                                                   
     are  part of  a  weekly  teleconference with  the  other                                                                   
     states  to share concerns,  ask questions  and learn  as                                                                   
     much as  they can about the  ABLE Act, as it is  a brand                                                                   
     new  federal  authorizing law  and  many states  are  in                                                                   
     some stage of implementation at this time.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     This change  of course for  the program has  resulted in                                                                   
     restructured legislation language to reflect that:                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     federal authorizing law                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     the "consortium"  to achieve  a better economy  of scale                                                                   
     and share administrative tasks                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     that selects a financial contractor                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     institution if  it chooses to do  so and it deems  it an                                                                   
     economically viable choice                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     These items remain the same:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     contractor, maintain  oversight, terminate or  not renew                                                                   
     a  contract   if  they  want   to  choose  a   different                                                                   
     contractor                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     account                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     for an ABLE account                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     accounts  allowed, that a  fee may  be required to  open                                                                   
     an  account,  guidelines  and   caps  for  the  accounts                                                                   
     themselves,  that the  accounts  can be  changed only  2                                                                   
     times  a year,  that  a  designated beneficiary  can  be                                                                   
     changed,  guidelines for  use of  the account,  rollover                                                                   
     options,     statement      requirements,     accounting                                                                   
     requirements, annual fees.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "security" for a loan                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     claims during the life of the beneficiary                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     ABLE account                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     confidential,  and  not open  to public  record  search,                                                                   
     but allows  the Dept. and  DHSS to exchange  information                                                                   
     re: eligibility                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     assets under means test programs                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     fund to run the program                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     back funds if a beneficiary dies                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     law for the program                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     beginning in 2018                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:33:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL advised Senator Stevens that income from the                                                                    
accounts and contributions to the accounts are not taxed.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS asked  if property rights attach  to ABLE accounts                                                              
that can be passed on to the heirs of the account holder.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. CONWAY deferred to Mr. Spielman.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:34:25 PM                                                                                                                    
STEWART  SPIELMAN,  Senior  Policy  Advisor  and  Counsel,  Autism                                                              
Speaks, Maryland,  explained  that the account  passes though  the                                                              
individual's  estate  like other  property  and  is subject  to  a                                                              
Medicaid claw  back. Any assets  that remain in the  account after                                                              
the  Medicaid claim  is paid  pass through  to the  estate of  the                                                              
deceased individual.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:35:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO  removed  her objection  and  finding  no  further                                                              
objection,  the committee substitute,  version L,  for SB  104 was                                                              
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL  asked if  the committee would  like to  hear from                                                              
the head  of the  consortium that  Alaska would  join, should  the                                                              
bill pass.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:36:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHASE REHNWEINKEL,  Director of Policy, Illinois  State Treasurer,                                                              
related that the  idea of the consortium developed  because states                                                              
were concerned that  the economy of scale would  not be sufficient                                                              
to sustain a program.  To address the concern, a  number of states                                                              
decided  to work  together  to  share services  while  maintaining                                                              
control over the individual accounts in their state.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL  asked which  states have  joined the  consortium,                                                              
how many  he anticipates  joining,  and the current  state  of the                                                              
request for proposals (RFP) process.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  RHNWEINKEL   said  Illinois,   Wisconsin,  Minnesota,   Iowa,                                                              
Kansas,   Missouri,   Pennsylvania,   and   Nevada   have   signed                                                              
interstate  agreements  to participate  in  the consortium  and  a                                                              
number of  other states  have indicated  interest. The  consortium                                                              
is  in the  process of  drafting  RFPs for  services  in order  to                                                              
provide investment and recordkeeping for the program.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO noted the individuals online to answer questions.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS  asked for  information about  the individual  tax                                                              
benefits.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:39:52 PM                                                                                                                    
PAM   LEARY,   State  Investment   Officer,   Treasury   Division,                                                              
Department of  Revenue (DOR), said  the contributions to  the fund                                                              
are after tax, but  the income earned on the contributions  is not                                                              
taxed.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO  found  no  further   questions  and  solicited  a                                                              
motion.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:40:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL  moved to report  the CS  for SB 104,  labeled 29-                                                              
LS0702\L,  from  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and                                                              
attached fiscal note(s).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO announced  that without objection  CSSB 104(L&C) is                                                              
reported from the Senate Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:41:19 PM                                                                                                                    
There  being no  further business  to come  before the  committee,                                                              
Chair Costello  adjourned the Senate  Labor and Commerce  Standing                                                              
Committee meeting at 2:41 p.m.                                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Marijuana Control Board Fact Sheet.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
Marijuana Control Board
21 - Marijuana Control Board Roster.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
Marijuana Control Board
Marijuana Control Board - Johnes #1.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
Marijuana Control Board
Marijuana Control Board - Mlynarik #1.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
Marijuana Control Board
Marijuana Control Board - Schulte #1.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
Marijuana Control Board
Marijuana Control Board - Emmett #1.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
Marijuana Control Board
Marijuana Control Board - Springer #1.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
Marijuana Control Board
Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Fact Sheet.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
Alcohol Beverage Control Board
4 - Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
Alcohol Beverage Control Board
Alcoholic Beverage Control - Evans #1.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
Alcohol Beverage Control Board
Big Game Commercial Services Board Fact Sheet.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
Big Game Commercial Services Board
5 - Big Game Commercial Services Board.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
Big Game Commercial Services Board
Big Game Commercial Services- Jackson #1.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
Big Game Commercial Services Board
2016.01.21 - SLC Minutes Excerpt - MCB Overview.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
2015.08.26 Leg. Audit Sunset Review - Big Game Commercial Services Board....pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
2015.12.20 - ADN - Big Game board ups hunting guide fees.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
2016.01.21 Marijuana Control Board Overview.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
2016.02.04 - SLC Minutes Excerpt - SB 104.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 104
CBPL Report - Big Commercial Services Board Excerpt.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
CSSB 104 (L&C) - Sectional Analysis.pdf SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 104
CSSB 104 (L&C) - Ver. L.PDF SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 104
SB 104 changes from original to new CS L&C.PDF SL&C 3/22/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 104