Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/14/2004 03:28 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 540-WORKERS' COMPENSATION INSURANCE RATES                                                                                  
CHAIR ANDERSON announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL NO. 540,  "An Act relating to workers' compensation                                                               
insurance rates; and providing for an effective date."                                                                          
Number 0057                                                                                                                     
LINDA  HALL,  Director,  Division  of  Insurance,  Department  of                                                               
Community &  Economic Development (DCED), informed  the committee                                                               
that the  timeline in the  current legislation doesn't  meet what                                                               
she believes "we should be doing  for our consumers."  She opined                                                               
that  the timelines  are a  step backwards  in the  rate approval                                                               
process.   This year the  division diligently tried to  have rate                                                               
approvals in sufficient time for  employers to access the impacts                                                               
of rate  changes.   This year  the division  was able  to provide                                                               
approximately two months  advance notice.  Under  the scenario in                                                               
the  current  legislation,  rate approval  couldn't  occur  until                                                               
December 1,  which she didn't  believe was sufficient  notice for                                                               
employers to plan.   Ms. Hall related that she  doesn't intend to                                                               
stop the legislation.  Although the  process is fine, it needs to                                                               
work for all the stakeholders.                                                                                                  
MS. HALL informed the committee  that the division has a proposal                                                               
that  maintains the  spirit  of  HB 540  in  that  it allows  the                                                               
hearings.    However, the  division's  proposal  does change  the                                                               
timeframes.   She requested  that the  committee provide  her the                                                               
time to  work on the  proposal so that  with the sponsor  and the                                                               
division can develop legislation that will work for everyone.                                                                   
Number 0288                                                                                                                     
CRAIG NOOTTVEDT,  Alaska National Insurance Company,  stated that                                                               
he is amenable to the proposal  by Ms. Hall, although he has some                                                               
concerns.    He noted  his  agreement  that Ms.  Hall's  proposal                                                               
attempts to meet the  change in the system.  The  hope is to have                                                               
a day  to work  on this  with Ms.  Hall in  order to  negotiate a                                                               
quality piece of legislation.                                                                                                   
CHAIR ANDERSON announced that HB 540  would be held over in order                                                               
for the parties to work on a compromise.                                                                                        

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