Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

05/02/2017 10:00 AM FISHERIES

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Audio Topic
10:03:04 AM Start
10:04:02 AM HB231
10:20:06 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
       HB 231-CFEC: BD. SALARY; STAFF CLASSIFIED SERVICE                                                                    
10:04:02 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 231,  "An Act relating  to the  Alaska Commercial                                                               
Fisheries  Entry  Commission;  and  providing  for  an  effective                                                               
10:04:30 AM                                                                                                                   
LESLIE RIDLE, Deputy  Commissioner, Department of Administration,                                                               
defined  the Commercial  Fisheries Entry  Commission (CFEC)  as a                                                               
regulatory  and quasi-judicial  agency  that is  tasked with  the                                                               
following duties:   limit entry of participants  and vessels into                                                               
the commercial  fisheries; issue  and transfer  annual commercial                                                               
fishing  permits  and  vessel  licenses;  adjudicate  appeals  of                                                               
actions including  denials of applications and  transfers; study,                                                               
analyze, and report on the  economics and stability of commercial                                                               
fisheries;  ensure reliable  and timely  access to  fishery data;                                                               
promote  the  conservation  and  sustained  yield  management  of                                                               
Alaska's commercial fishery resources;  and assess demerit points                                                               
against,  or suspend  fishing privileges  of, permit  holders for                                                               
convictions or violations of commercial fishing laws.                                                                           
MS.  RIDLE  reviewed the  effects  that  are anticipated  through                                                               
enactment of HB 231, which  include:  change the compensation for                                                               
three commissioners  of the CFEC  by reducing the pay  range from                                                               
27  at  $8,789   per  month,  to  a  24  earning   $7,225.    The                                                               
commissioner pay would  not be frozen, under the  bill, and would                                                               
continue   to  receive   pay  increment   raises  on   the  merit                                                               
anniversary date.   The bill  removes the CFEC staff  from exempt                                                               
service and assigns them to  classified service.  The Division of                                                               
Personnel  and  Labor  Relations will  perform  a  classification                                                               
study  and place  positions on  the appropriate  pay scale.   The                                                               
current  CFEC staff  will not  receive  a reduction  in pay,  she                                                               
said, and explained that their pay  would be frozen until the pay                                                               
scale catches up to the  newly classified position.  However, any                                                               
new CFEC  staff would be  hired at the  new range/step A.   Under                                                               
the  reorganization   the  staff  will  be   represented  by  the                                                               
appropriate union:   Supervisors  Union (SU),  General Government                                                               
Unit (GGU), or the Confidential Employees Association (CEA).                                                                    
10:08:55 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  CHENAULT  asked  how many  employees  this  might                                                               
MS. RIDLE answered 19 or 20.                                                                                                    
10:09:14 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN  asked for  the  pay  scale of  the  staff                                                               
MS. RIDLE offered to provide further information.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN  questioned the  reclassification  process                                                               
described and why  the staff pay scales could not  more simply be                                                               
directly reduced,  similar to the  action being proposed  for the                                                               
commissioner salaries.                                                                                                          
MS.  RIDLE  responded that  previous  experience  has shown  that                                                               
invoking a  pay change  when a position  turns over  creates less                                                               
stress  and concern  among  the current  employees,  will not  be                                                               
perceived as a penalty, and  cause less overall disruption in the                                                               
10:11:03 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN   inquired  how  long   the  commissioner                                                               
position has been vacant.                                                                                                       
MS.  RIDLE recalled  that Governor  Bill  Walker's appointee  was                                                               
denied in 2015.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  suggested that  perhaps it's  a difficult                                                               
position  to fill  at  the current  pay scale,  and  may be  less                                                               
inviting at a reduced pay range.                                                                                                
MS. RIDLE  opined that  it may not  be the pay  scale as  much as                                                               
locating a candidate acceptable to the legislature.                                                                             
CHAIR STUTES interjected  that a hire freeze by  the governor may                                                               
also be a reason that the position has remained vacant.                                                                         
10:12:20 AM                                                                                                                   
MS.  RIDLE said  the  estimated  savings to  the  state from  the                                                               
reduction of the  commissioner salaries is $78,733  per year, and                                                               
the savings from the staff  reclassification is variable based on                                                               
position turnover.   She explained  HB 231 is  timely legislation                                                               
based  on the  lighter caseload  that is  occurring at  the CFEC.                                                               
The decisions  being considered have  dropped from a high  of 105                                                               
cases, in 1998, to  3 cases in 2015, and 0 in  2016.  Further, it                                                               
is a money saving measure.   The commissioners will be aligned to                                                               
similar  ranges  of  similar  positions and  the  staff  will  be                                                               
aligned with similar classified  service positions.  Referring to                                                               
the  committee   handout,  titled,  "HB  231   Alaska  Commercial                                                               
Fisheries Entry Commission, May  2, 2017," she directed attention                                                               
to the fourth  page to illustrate the CFEC  budget reductions for                                                               
the years  FY 16 through the  FY 18 proposed plan.   Further, she                                                               
said the  agency has  undergone a reduction  in space  and staff,                                                               
over the last few years, along with other budget cuts.                                                                          
10:14:10 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  STUTES asked  how many  unfilled position  control numbers                                                               
(PCNs) are on  the books at CFEC, and whether  the agency intends                                                               
to transfer the  positions into the classified system  or if they                                                               
will be eliminated.                                                                                                             
MS. RIDLE offered to provide further information.                                                                               
10:15:04 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS questioned  why the decisions being                                                               
provided by CFEC have bottomed out at zero per year.                                                                            
CHAIR  STUTES  said the  commissioners  will  be available  at  a                                                               
subsequent hearing to field that line of questioning.                                                                           
10:16:06 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE CHENAULT referred to  the fiscal note, and offered                                                               
a ballpark estimate that the  savings would be $52,000; given the                                                               
absence of one commissioner.  He  suggested a need to revisit the                                                               
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
10:17:00 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN asked for the  breakdown of how many staff                                                               
would be classified to GGU, as well as SU.                                                                                      
MS. RIDLE answered that, until  the classification study has been                                                               
completed, the breakout for union representation is an unknown.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN asked  what  the  highest position  level                                                               
being transferred into the classified service would be.                                                                         
MS.  RIDLE responded  the executive  director  position, and  she                                                               
offered to provide further information.                                                                                         
10:18:12 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE CHENAULT inquired about  the timeframe required to                                                               
complete the study.                                                                                                             
MS. RIDLE responded that it  will take about six months following                                                               
passage of the bill.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  CHENAULT  commented  that  some  reclassification                                                               
studies have resulted  in an increase in the  costs necessary for                                                               
providing services.                                                                                                             
MS.  RIDLE agreed  and  said there  may be  some  people who  are                                                               
working below their class level.                                                                                                
10:20:06 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES announced HB 231 as held.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB231 Hearing Request 4.19.17.pdf HFSH 5/2/2017 10:00:00 AM
HB 231
HB231 Transmittal Letter 4.14.17.pdf HFSH 5/2/2017 10:00:00 AM
HB 231
HB231 Sectional Analysis 4.19.17.pdf HFSH 5/2/2017 10:00:00 AM
HB 231
HB231 ver A.pdf HFSH 5/2/2017 10:00:00 AM
HB 231
HB231 Fiscal Note DFG-CFEC 4.15.17.pdf HFSH 5/2/2017 10:00:00 AM
HB 231
HB231 Additional Document CFEC Adjudications Table 2014.pdf HFSH 5/2/2017 10:00:00 AM
HB 231
HB231 Additional Document CFEC Adjudications Graph 2014.pdf HFSH 5/2/2017 10:00:00 AM
HB 231
HB231 Supporting Document USAG.pdf HFSH 5/2/2017 10:00:00 AM
HB 231
HB231 Supporting Document NPFA.pdf HFSH 5/2/2017 10:00:00 AM
HB 231
HB231 Additional Document Administration PowerPoint.pdf HFSH 5/2/2017 10:00:00 AM
HB 231