Legislature(2017 - 2018)ADAMS ROOM 519

04/10/2018 01:30 PM FINANCE

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HOUSE BILL NO. 385                                                                                                            
    "An Act relating to multi-line telephone systems."                                                                          
1:38:03 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JASON GRENN, SPONSOR, proudly served                                                                             
District 32.                                                                                                                    
SHEA SIEGERT, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE JASON GRENN, introduced                                                                     
Representative Grenn reviewed the legislation. He read from                                                                     
a prepared statement:                                                                                                           
     Alaskan residents  have relied on dialing  911 to reach                                                                    
     local  emergency  services  for decades.  Enhanced  911                                                                    
     (E911)  is a  service that  automatically displays  the                                                                    
     telephone  number  and  physical location  of  the  911                                                                    
     caller  on the  emergency  operator's  screen. This  is                                                                    
     unlike Basic  911 service, where the  distressed caller                                                                    
     must  tell the  operator  where he  or  she is  calling                                                                    
     from.  E911  is  crucial  in  circumstances  where  the                                                                    
     caller  cannot  communicate  their whereabouts,  as  it                                                                    
     ensures the  operator is still  able to  send emergency                                                                    
     response  services to  the correct  location. With  the                                                                    
     advancement  of  technology,   E911  has  significantly                                                                    
     improved  the  effective  delivery of  critical  public                                                                    
     safety  and  emergency  response  services  across  the                                                                    
     There is  a large segment  of E911 end-users  in Alaska                                                                    
     using  Multi-Line   Telephone  Systems   (MLTS).  These                                                                    
     systems  do not  have  the same  level  of E911  safety                                                                    
     protections as small  business and residential systems.                                                                    
     MLTS  connects   dozens,  hundreds,  or   thousands  of                                                                    
     "extension"   phones   to   a   central,   computerized                                                                    
     telephone  "switchboard". MLTS  are frequently  used by                                                                    
     government   agencies,  banks,   hotels,  health   care                                                                    
     facilities, and schools.                                                                                                   
     When individuals  call 911 from  a phone  in Multi-Line                                                                    
     Telephone  System,  that  system  may  only  relay  the                                                                    
     physical   street  address   of  the   facility's  main                                                                    
     building or  the address of  the building in  which the                                                                    
     MLTS  is  located. However,  it  may  not provide  more                                                                    
     specific   information  about   where  the   distressed                                                                    
     individual is  physically located,  such as  a building                                                                    
     number, floor number, or room  number. When callers are                                                                    
     also  unable   to  provide  their   specific  location,                                                                    
     because  they   are  either  unaware  of   their  exact                                                                    
     location  or  are  physically   unable  to  convey  the                                                                    
     information,   emergency   responders  face   avoidable                                                                    
     delays that can result in tragedies.                                                                                       
     House  Bill  385  will   help  ensure  911  dispatchers                                                                    
     receive  accurate  location  information  so  emergency                                                                    
     responders  will not  be delayed  while trying  to find                                                                    
     the   emergency   caller   in  need.   HB   385   gives                                                                    
     municipalities the option to  require MLTS operators in                                                                    
     their   region  to   provide   an  Automatic   Location                                                                    
     Information  (ALI) record  for every  telephone capable                                                                    
     of  dialing 911.  By  automatically providing  specific                                                                    
     location information through  the 911 system, emergency                                                                    
     operators  can immediately  dispatch  fire, police,  or                                                                    
     EMS  responders to  the  caller's  location, even  when                                                                    
     that  person is  incapacitated. This  requirement would                                                                    
     apply only to new MLTS  installations or upgrades to an                                                                    
     existing MLTS.                                                                                                             
     Alaskans depend  on fast and reliable  access to public                                                                    
     safety resources when faced with emergency situations.                                                                     
     I urge your support for House Bill 385.                                                                                    
Representative Grenn indicated his staff, Mr. Siegert,                                                                          
would review the sectional analysis.                                                                                            
1:41:15 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Siegert read the sectional analysis from a prepared                                                                         
     Section 1:                                                                                                                 
     This  section provides  a municipality  the ability  to                                                                    
     opt-in  to  requiring  a  multi-line  telephone  system                                                                    
     operator to comply with the provisions in this bill.                                                                       
     The first  section also states that  the operators must                                                                    
     comply  with the  provisions when  they  install a  new                                                                    
     multi-line  telephone system  or  make  upgrades to  an                                                                    
     existing multi-line telephone system.                                                                                      
     Section 2:                                                                                                                 
         Paragraph (b) Subpoint (1): requires a multiline                                                                    
          telephone system have direct dial access to a                                                                         
          public safety answering point.                                                                                        
         Paragraph (b)   Subpoint   (2):   requires   the                                                                    
          multiline telephone system to provide automatic                                                                       
          number and location information for the call                                                                          
          being placed to the public safety access point.                                                                       
         Paragraph (c): provides that any information in                                                                     
          the  location  database  is   owned  by  the  MLTS                                                                    
          operator and may not be  shared unless required by                                                                    
          law  and  may  not  be used  by  a  public  safety                                                                    
          answering point for any purpose except to                                                                             
          facilitate an emergency response to a 911 call.                                                                       
         Paragraph (d): provides for systems that are                                                                        
          exempt under section one of this bill to have                                                                         
          signage which gives clear and readable directions                                                                     
              How to dial a public safety answering point                                                                    
               that   includes    the   pertinent   location                                                                    
               information of the caller.                                                                                       
       Paragraph (e): defines the pertinent terms                                                                            
Representative  Grenn   was  available  for   questions.  He                                                                    
conveyed that  Emily Nauman  was available  from Legislative                                                                    
Legal Services was available to testify.                                                                                        
Co-Chair Foster reviewed the list of testifiers online.                                                                         
1:44:41 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Kawasaki  mentioned  that  the  bill  talked                                                                    
about the  municipalities having  to opt-in. He  asked about                                                                    
the  conditions in  which  they wound  not  have to  opt-in.                                                                    
Representative Grenn deferred to his staff.                                                                                     
Mr.  Siegert indicated  that municipalities  opted  in on  a                                                                    
voluntary basis. A  municipality would not opt-in  if it was                                                                    
going to incur  an extreme cost, did not have  access to 911                                                                    
operations, or  if they were an  unorganized borough without                                                                    
access  to 911  service. If  they found  that their  private                                                                    
businesses  would   incur  an   abnormally  large   cost  to                                                                    
implement the system,  they might not opt-in.  For all other                                                                    
purposes he did  not foresee a municipality  turning down an                                                                    
ordinance to opt-in if they had the capabilities to do so.                                                                      
Representative  Kawasaki asked  if a  municipality would  be                                                                    
impacted if they  wanted to upgrade but not  to a multi-line                                                                    
system. Mr.  Siegert responded in the  negative. He reminded                                                                    
members that  Carrie's Law, HR  582, was signed into  law by                                                                    
President  Trump in  February  2018. The  law provided  that                                                                    
after  2020  all  multi-line   telephone  systems  sold  and                                                                    
manufactured in the United States  would be required to have                                                                    
911 capabilities. He suggested  that most multi-line systems                                                                    
had the capability.                                                                                                             
Representative Kawasaki asked about  the potential costs for                                                                    
a  multi-line  system  upgrade. He  wondered  who  would  be                                                                    
responsible. Representative Grenn responded  that one of the                                                                    
best things about the bill  was that the costs were minimal.                                                                    
For some, it would not cost  anything - especially if it was                                                                    
a matter of a software update.  For others it could cost $25                                                                    
per phone.                                                                                                                      
Representative  Wilson  asked if  the  bill  was limited  to                                                                    
municipalities.  Mr. Siegert  responded in  the affirmative.                                                                    
He  indicated that  most unorganized  boroughs did  not have                                                                    
access to  911 or 911  enhanced services and would  not opt-                                                                    
in. If an  unorganized borough needed to  opt-in, they would                                                                    
have  to go  to  the state.  He deferred  to  Ms. Nauman  to                                                                    
1:49:49 PM                                                                                                                    
EMILY   NAUMAN,   ATTORNEY,  LEGISLATIVE   LEGAL   SERVICES,                                                                    
understood  Representative Wilson's  question to  be whether                                                                    
the bill applied  or how the bill applied  to an unorganized                                                                    
borough. She  informed members  that an  unorganized borough                                                                    
was  technically  governed  by the  state  legislature.  The                                                                    
unorganized  borough had  no authority  by  itself to  enact                                                                    
ordinances  that required  an enhanced  multi-line telephone                                                                    
system.  She suggested  that if  the legislature  wished the                                                                    
requirement  to apply  to an  unorganized borough,  it would                                                                    
have to enact a law.                                                                                                            
Representative  Wilson asked  if  the  legislature would  be                                                                    
giving boroughs  and cities a  power they did not  have. Ms.                                                                    
Nauman directed attention to the  bill. The bill showed some                                                                    
of the powers  that they already had related  to an enhanced                                                                    
911 system. The bill amended those powers.                                                                                      
Representative  Wilson  asked  if  they  currently  had  the                                                                    
powers.  Ms. Nauman  thought the  sponsor would  be able  to                                                                    
better detail  the specific  changes made  in the  bill. The                                                                    
municipalities  had  the  ability   to  elect  an  ordinance                                                                    
related to an  enhanced 911 system. She was  not as familiar                                                                    
with all the details of the current law.                                                                                        
Mr. Siegert responded  that Representative Hawker introduced                                                                    
legislation  that  passed  in 2005,  HB  249  [Short  Title:                                                                    
Enhanced 911  Surcharges and Systems], that  was supposed to                                                                    
give the  Regulatory Commission of Alaska  (RCA) the ability                                                                    
to implement and  regulate the 911 system.  The problem that                                                                    
came  from the  10-year docket  open from  2005 to  2015 was                                                                    
that (cited  in R-05-005 order no.  7) the RCA did  not have                                                                    
the requisite authority  to do so. He provided  a quote from                                                                    
the former Attorney General,  "Since the specific delegation                                                                    
in AS 29.035 only authorizes  the agency to define generally                                                                    
accepted industry standards for  E911, we lack the requisite                                                                    
authority   to   enforce   those  standards   by   resolving                                                                    
disputes."  House  Bill  249  did   not  give  the  RCA  the                                                                    
requisite authority  to enforce and implement  the generally                                                                    
accepted standards  they agreed  upon. Another  conflict the                                                                    
RCA had during the 10-year  open docket was finding a waiver                                                                    
system  that  would  not be  overly  burdensome  on  certain                                                                    
borough versus  others. The basis of  passing legislation to                                                                    
provide  an opt-in  municipal ordinance  was  to give  every                                                                    
borough  local control  of  the provisions  in  the bill  to                                                                    
avoid  becoming  overly  burdensome   on  one  borough  over                                                                    
Representative Wilson asked if  the legislature was giving a                                                                    
borough  power  that  they  did   not  currently  have.  She                                                                    
wondered if  she was  correct. Mr.  Siegert thought  she was                                                                    
1:53:38 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson figured  it  was up  to  the city  or                                                                    
borough to  determine the strictness  of the  ordinance. She                                                                    
wondered if  the municipality would determine  the number of                                                                    
lines in  a multi-line  system that  would be  required. She                                                                    
wondered   how  far   the  bill   would  reach   into  small                                                                    
businesses.  Representative Grenn  thought Ms.  Nauman could                                                                    
respond best to Representative Wilson's question.                                                                               
Emily  Nauman  explained that  the  bill  was a  take-it  or                                                                    
leave-it bill.  The municipality did not  have the authority                                                                    
to adopt something  slightly different than what  was in the                                                                    
bill. They had  to adopt their ordinance  in accordance with                                                                    
the rules set  out in the bill. She  suggested that anything                                                                    
shy of  it or  anything that  directly conflicted  with what                                                                    
was in  the bill  would likely  cause a  preemption problem;                                                                    
the  state law  would directly  conflict with  the municipal                                                                    
ordinance.  She noted  that  the  municipal ordinance  would                                                                    
likely be thrown  out by a court. In terms  of the number of                                                                    
telephone  lines,   she  referred   to  the   definition  of                                                                    
multi-line systems on  page 4 of the bill,  starting on line                                                                    
20.  It did  not specify  a number  of telephone  lines. she                                                                    
reported that in the past  the Alaska Supreme court upheld a                                                                    
"narrow,  but reasonable"  interpretation  of  this type  of                                                                    
law. There  was some  room for  a municipality  to determine                                                                    
how many lines constituted a multi-line system.                                                                                 
Representative  Wilson suggested  that  if an  entity had  a                                                                    
multi-line system like the one  she had at her own business,                                                                    
they  would end  up bearing  the cost  depending on  how the                                                                    
ordinance was  written. Ms.  Nauman did  not have  a comment                                                                    
except to reiterate  her earlier response that  the bill was                                                                    
silent on  how many  phones constituted a  multi-line phone.                                                                    
There might be some flexibility  for a municipality to flush                                                                    
it out in its ordinance.                                                                                                        
Representative Wilson  originally thought the bill  was only                                                                    
for  places such  as major  hotels that  would upgrade.  She                                                                    
wondered if an  impact study had been  conducted for smaller                                                                    
businesses.  She asked  the sponsor  to distinguish  between                                                                    
large  and small  businesses.  Representative Grenn  replied                                                                    
that he  did not have  any information regarding a  study on                                                                    
the impacts of the bill.  He had previously spoken about the                                                                    
cost of  upgrading a line.  There was no  difference between                                                                    
any 911 software  in the multi-line telephone  system or $15                                                                    
to $20 per  line. He reported that Mr. Gibbs  was online and                                                                    
could comment.                                                                                                                  
1:58:02 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID  GIBBS,  FAIRBANKS  NORTH STAR  BOROUGH,  DIRECTOR  OF                                                                    
EMERGENCY,   FAIRBANKS   (via  teleconference),   introduced                                                                    
Representative  Grenn repeated  his question  concerning the                                                                    
cost  of   upgrading  a  small   business  with   a  smaller                                                                    
multi-line system.  Mr. Gibbs responded that  the cost would                                                                    
likely be nothing. It would simply  be the cost of the labor                                                                    
to  provide  the  information  to   the  911  authority  for                                                                    
inclusion in the automatic location information database.                                                                       
Representative Wilson asked about  costs associated with new                                                                    
upgrades.  She   thought  businesses  might  be   forced  to                                                                    
purchase  new phones  and software.  She  wondered how  many                                                                    
places  would be  affected in  the North  Star Borough.  Mr.                                                                    
Gibbs  was  unsure  how  many   small  businesses  would  be                                                                    
affected by the legislation. He  clarified that there were a                                                                    
number of services  for small businesses. He  thought a cost                                                                    
of $20 to $25 cost per  handset per month might apply when a                                                                    
business  wanted  to subscribe  to  a  phone system  on  the                                                                    
Cloud. He had  done some research on the  internet and found                                                                    
a cost between $10 and  $30. The cost included the handsets,                                                                    
the switching,  and the database  maintenance. The  bill did                                                                    
not require a business to upgrade their systems.                                                                                
2:00:21 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster OPENED public testimony.                                                                                        
2:00:44 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                        
Representative  Wilson  asked  if   the  bill  included  the                                                                    
military.  Mr. Siegert  deferred to  Ms. Nauman.  Ms. Nauman                                                                    
responded  that  she  would  be  skeptical  if  a  municipal                                                                    
ordinance  could   affect  the  telephone   requirements  on                                                                    
federal  property, particularly  a  military base.  However,                                                                    
she was not certain.  Representative Wilson asked Ms. Nauman                                                                    
to find out the answer to her question.                                                                                         
HB  385  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 385 - Additional Documents - Diagram.pdf HFIN 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 385
HB 385 - Additional Documents - FAQ's.pdf HFIN 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 385
HB 385 - Additional Documents - HR 582.pdf HFIN 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 385
HR 582
HB 385 - Additional Documents - Research.pdf HFIN 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 385
HB 385 - Letter of Support - Alaska Fire Chief's Association.pdf HFIN 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 385
HB 385 - Letter of Support - Alaska Firefighters Association.pdf HFIN 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 385
HB 385 - Summary of Changes from Ver. A to D.pdf HFIN 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 385
HB 385 - Letter of Support - AML.PDF HFIN 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 385
HB 385 - Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 385
HB 385 - Letter of Support - Fairbanks North Star Borough.pdf HFIN 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 385
HB 385 - Reso 4829 in Support of HB 385 SB215.pdf HFIN 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 385
SB 215
HB 385 - Amendment #1.pdf HFIN 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 385
SB 97 - Amendment #1.pdf HFIN 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 97
HB 316 - Amendment #1.pdf HFIN 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 316
HB 316 Explanation of CS Changes_.pdf HFIN 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 316
HB 316 Bill version N.pdf HFIN 4/10/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 316