Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124

03/27/2009 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= HB 37 RIGHT TO WORK
Scheduled But Not Heard
-- Teleconference <Listen Only> --
= HB 151 USE, REGULATION, AND OPERATION OF BOATS
Moved CSHB 151(L&C) Out of Committee
*+ HB 185 LABOR NEUTRALITY FOR STATE CONTRACTS TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
-- Teleconference <Listen Only> --
+ HJR 16 DISABLED VETERANS PROCUREMENT PREFERENCE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 105 STEP PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
HB 105-STEP PROGRAM                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:50:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RYNNIEVA MOSS,  Staff, Representative John Coghill,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, explained on behalf of  the prime sponsor, that this                                                               
bill  was introduced  last legislature  as House  Bill 226.   She                                                               
related  that  HB   105  passed  with  a   two-year  sunset,  and                                                               
instructions for the Department  of Labor & Workforce Development                                                               
(DLWD) to form a work group  from all sectors of the workforce to                                                               
recommend  how to  improve the  program.   The DLWD  commissioner                                                               
appointed  a task  force that  met  several times.   The  sponsor                                                               
introduced the  bill this year  to facilitate a  statewide policy                                                               
for  a   coordinated  and   effective  employment   training  and                                                               
education system.   She stated that a lot of  effort has been put                                                               
forth  on  this  bill.     She  mentioned  a  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute has been prepared.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN   made  a  motion  to   adopt  the  proposed                                                               
committee  substitute  (CS)  for  HB  105,  labeled  26-LS0475\C,                                                               
Wayne, 3/20/09.   There being no objection, Version  C was before                                                               
the committee.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:53:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS  explained that the  bill provides  additional authority                                                               
for the Alaska Workforce Investment  Board (AWIB) with respect to                                                               
the Statewide Training and  Employment Program (STEP) operations.                                                               
The bill expands  their duties to include review  and approval of                                                               
regulations to be  adopted by the DLWD.  The  AWIB would annually                                                               
review the  priorities set  by the department.   She  opined that                                                               
the  bill streamlines  the paperwork  requirements  for the  STEP                                                               
program.    She recalled  one  gentleman  stated that  the  grant                                                               
process is  cruel to  businesses.  She  interpreted that  to mean                                                               
the bureaucracy  was simply more  than a business should  have to                                                               
endure to obtain funding for his employees.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:54:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS  related that  HB 105  would make  the STEP  a permanent                                                               
program  and would  make  the AWIB  a partner  with  the DLWD  to                                                               
ensure  the training  is in  areas that  Alaska needs  additional                                                               
workforce jobs.   She opined that Alaska is  anxiously awaiting a                                                               
gas line,  but Alaska  needs to  be ready for  that.   Thus, STEP                                                               
provides a mechanism for that training.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:55:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS, in response to  Representative Buch, explained that the                                                               
purpose of  House Bill 226  was to  end the sunset  provision and                                                               
make the  program permanent.   The legislature asked the  DLWD to                                                               
review the  program and make it  user friendly.  The  DLWD's task                                                               
force met and  the AWIB will have more input  in the program such                                                               
as in developing regulations to provide for an appeal process.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH applauded  the sponsor's  staff for  work on                                                               
this issue.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:57:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID  STONE,   Deputy  Commissioner,   Department  of   Labor  &                                                               
Workforce Development (DLWD),  stated that he serves  on the AWIB                                                               
and was co-chair of the STEP  task force.  He reiterated that the                                                               
STEP task  force was the  result of legislation that  passed last                                                               
year.    The   STEP  task  force  was   charged  with  developing                                                               
recommendations  for revisions  to  statutes  and regulations  to                                                               
improve  the STEP  program.   He explained  that Version  C is  a                                                               
result of recommendations made by the  STEP task force.  The STEP                                                               
task  force   was  comprised  of  ten   people  representing  the                                                               
employers,  the  employees, the  U.S.  Department  of Labor,  the                                                               
University of Alaska,  and the AWIB.  The STEP  task force met on                                                               
numerous  occasions   and  recommended  the  following:     Offer                                                               
services to  an expanded  pool of workers  who may  be displaced.                                                               
Clarify the AWIB oversight and  accountability.  Support resident                                                               
hire  through targeted  projects  and services.   Increase  input                                                               
from   local   businesses   and   regional   advisory   councils.                                                               
Streamline the  grantee application and reporting  process.  Make                                                               
the STEP a permanent program.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:58:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. STONE provided  some statistics about the STEP  program.  The                                                               
DLWD tracked  STEP participants for  a full year  after training.                                                               
In  2007, the  STEP  participants earned  $62  million in  Alaska                                                               
wages in the  year following their training.   This represents an                                                               
average salary  increase of 18  percent.  The  1,445 participants                                                               
increased their  earnings by  $9.3 million.   He related  that 91                                                               
percent of the participants claimed  Alaska as their residence in                                                               
the 2008 Permanent Fund Dividend  applications.  Additionally, 95                                                               
percent of STEP participants were  employed within 12 months.  He                                                               
concluded by  stating that  STEP works.   It consistently  is the                                                               
best  training program  for unemployed  or underemployed  Alaskan                                                               
workers.    Furthermore, by  reducing  the  length of  time  that                                                               
workers are  unemployed, this program  is designed to  reduce the                                                               
amount of unemployment insurance benefits that are paid.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:00:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH  inquired as  to  whether  a list  of  board                                                               
members and their affiliations is available.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. STONE stated that the  Workforce Investment Board consists of                                                               
25  people,  including the  commissioners  of  the Department  of                                                               
Education and Early Development,  Department of Labor & Workforce                                                               
Development,  Department  of   Commerce,  Community,  &  Economic                                                               
Development.  Additionally, members  included a broad spectrum of                                                               
people  including Jim  Lynch,  Fairbanks  Hospital, Chair;  Linda                                                               
Hulbert, Fairbanks New York Life  Insurance; Doug Ward, Ketchikan                                                               
Shipyard, operating engineers, and labor groups.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:01:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. STONE,  in response to  Representative Buch, stated  that the                                                               
process is streamlined  in this way.  Three people  from the AWIB                                                               
and one  public member will  review all of the  competitive grant                                                               
applications  and  make decisions  on  who  will be  awarded  the                                                               
grants.   If any  discretionary funds  remain, two  members would                                                               
examine and  meet with the  DLWD commissioner to  make decisions.                                                               
He  highlighted that  the  whole  idea is  to  make  it fast  and                                                               
nimble.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:02:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DON   ETHRIDGE,   Lobbyist,    Alaska   AFL-CIO;   Alaska   Works                                                               
Partnership, Inc., stated that both  the AFL-CIO and Alaska Works                                                               
Partnership, Inc.  support the  program.   He explained  that the                                                               
STEP  program  is particularly  helpful  to  rural residents  and                                                               
people who would not otherwise get training.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:04:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINDA  HULBERT,   Member,  Alaska  Workforce   Investment  Board,                                                               
testified  that she  has been  involved in  the STEP  program for                                                               
some time  and has watched  the program grow and  serve Alaskans.                                                               
She offered  that she has served  on the AWIB the  past few years                                                               
and also served on the STEP  task force.  She offered her support                                                               
for HB  105.  She  stated that the  bill is critical,  noting the                                                               
importance  of having  a trained  and flexible  work force.   She                                                               
related that  this bill provides  key funding to  individuals and                                                               
to  groups statewide.    She  opined that  the  program can  help                                                               
provide workers with  a living wage for families.   She concluded                                                               
by reiterating  her strong support  for HB 105, without  a sunset                                                               
provision to  ensure continuity of  the program and  for adequate                                                               
planning purposes.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:05:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:06 p.m. to 4:08 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:08:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUG  WARD,  Director,  Shipyard  Development,  Alaska  Ship  and                                                               
Drydock, Inc.,  explained that Alaska  Ship and Drydock,  Inc. is                                                               
an Alaska  Corporation operating  the Ketchikan shipyard  under a                                                               
30-year  agreement with  the  Alaska  Industrial Development  and                                                               
Export Authority (AIDEA).   He stated that he serves  as a member                                                               
of  the  Alaska  Workforce  Investment   Board,  and  chairs  the                                                               
Workforce Readiness and Employment  Committee, as well as serving                                                               
on Commissioner  Bishop's State  Training and  Employment Program                                                               
(STEP)  Task Force.   His  corporation  is a  current STEP  grant                                                               
recipient, accessing the STEP grant  program to develop a stable,                                                               
knowledgeable,  and skilled  shipyard  workforce.   He stated  he                                                               
supports Version C of  HB 105.  He asked members  to keep in mind                                                               
that the  workforce investment board  was tasked  by Commissioner                                                               
Bishop in  2007 to reassume  and execute statutory  authority and                                                               
fiduciary responsibilities to provide  effective oversight of the                                                               
state's workforce  investment initiatives.   He related  that the                                                               
commissioner has provided the leadership  necessary for the board                                                               
to accomplish  this task.   He opined that the  board transformed                                                               
itself  into   a  "hardworking   sleeves  up"  group   of  people                                                               
developing tools and policies to  maximize the careers in Alaska.                                                               
He  emphasized careers  in Alaska,  not  just jobs.   He  thanked                                                               
Deputy Commissioner  David Stone for  his leadership on  the STEP                                                               
task force.   He  indicated that  the task  force recommendations                                                               
are included in  HB 105.  He reiterated that  this task force has                                                               
been  the   most  productive  task   force  he  has   served  on,                                                               
particularly  given the  diverse interests  represented including                                                               
the   University   of   Alaska,   organized   labor,   employers,                                                               
legislative staff,  and federal workforce professionals.   During                                                               
the course  of the  year long  deliberation the  group identified                                                               
common issues and  solutions, and gave unanimous  support for the                                                               
task force report, which is included in Version C.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:11:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WARD opined  that the  STEP program  has been  successful in                                                               
training  Alaskans for  good careers.   This  bill would  provide                                                               
statutory equality  for all potential  STEP grant  recipients and                                                               
participants and  provides the statutory authority  necessary for                                                               
the STEP  program to  proceed to help  create legacy  careers for                                                               
Alaskans.  He urged members to support on HB 105.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:12:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN,  after  first  determining  no  one  else                                                               
wished to testify, closed public testimony on HB 105.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN announced  the bill would be  held over for                                                               
further discussion.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 HB151 ver A.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 151
01 HB185 ver E.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 185
02 HB151 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 151
03 HB151 Sectional Analysis.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 151
01 HJR16 ver A.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HJR 16
02 HJR16 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HJR 16
01 HB37 ver A.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 37
02 HB37 Sponsor Statement.PDF HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 37
03 HB37 Sectional Analysis.PDF HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 37
01 HB185 ver E.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 185
02 HB185 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 185
03 HB185 Sectional Analysis.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 185
03 HJR16 Federal Law 15 USC 644.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HJR 16
04 HB151 Fiscal Note DNR-ParksACC-03-03-09.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 151
04 HB37 Fiscal Note DOA-DOP-03-24-09.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 37
04 HJR16 Federal Law 15 USC 657 .pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HJR 16
05 HB 185 Letter of Support Alcan Builders.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 185
05 HB151 Draft CS.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 151
05 HB37 Fiscal Note DOLWD-ALRA-03-24-09.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 37
05 HJR16 GWB Executive Order 13360.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HJR 16
06 HB151 Alaska's Boating Safety Dollars at Work 2009.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 151
06 HJR16 Letter of support - North Star.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HJR 16
07 HB37 Letter of Support-NRWC 1-29-09.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 37
06 HB185 Letter of Support - MegaWatt Electric LLC.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 185
07 HB185 Letter of Support - NFIB.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 185
07 HJR16 Letter of support - Aqueous Int.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HJR 16
08 HB105SS-DOLWD-BSC-03-13-09.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 105
08 HB185 Letter of Support - Prosperity AK Org.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 185
08 HB37 Right to Work States Benefit From Faster Growth, Higher Real Purchasing Power.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 37
08 HJR16 Letter of support - AK Veterans Business Alliance.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HJR 16
09 HB105SS-DOLWD--UI-03-13-09.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 105
09 HB185 Letter of Support - SGC.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 185
09 HB37 Private health insurance increases, 1999-2007.PDF HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 37
10 CS SSHB105 ver C.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 105
09 HJR16 Letter of support - Bullseye Datacomm.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HJR 16
10 HB37 Forbes best states for business.PDF HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 37
10 HB185 Letter of Support - Coastal Power.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 185
10 HJR16 Letter of support - Arctic Sky Excavating.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HJR 16
11 HB185 Letter of Support - AAB.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 185
11 HB37 Texas v. Ohio economy.PDF HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 37
11 HJR16 Letter of support - DV Contracting.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HJR 16
12 HB185 Letter of Support - Criterion General Inc.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 185
12 HB37 College Graduates Fact Sheet.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 37
12 HJR16 Letter of support - Terrasat Inc.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HJR 16
13 HB185 Letter of Suport - Slayden Plumbing.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 185
13 HB37 Forced-Dues States Suffering From Massive Brain Drain.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 37
13 HJR16 Letter of support - Ron Crowl.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HJR 16
14 HB185 Multiple Letters of Support - Slayden Employees.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 185
14 HB37 Teachers Can Get Good Benefits without Paying Union Member Dues.PDF HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 37
14 HJR16 Letter of support - Paul Bailey, Sr, CEO OPM Limited.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HJR 16
15 HB185 Letter of Support - Mechanical Specialists Inc.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 185
15 HB37 Letter of Support - NFIB.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 37
16 HB185 Multiple Letters of Support - Osborne Employees.pdf HL&C 3/27/2009 3:15:00 PM
HB 185