Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/02/2004 03:50 PM Senate JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
     CSHB(L&C) 539-UNIV. STUDENT PRACTICUM LIABILITY/WAGES                                                                  
MR.  HEATH  HILYARD,  staff   to  Representative  Lesil  McGuire,                                                               
sponsor of  HB 539, quoted Herman  Melville, "A whale ship  is my                                                               
Yale college and  my Harvard" and said to a  certain extent, that                                                               
is what CSHB 539(L&C)  addresses: practical learning experiences,                                                               
or  university  practicum. HB  539  does  two things.  First,  it                                                               
limits  vicarious liability  by  the student  participating in  a                                                               
practicum, the  practicum provider  and the University  of Alaska                                                               
(UA).  Second,  it  clarifies that  practicum  students  are  not                                                               
employees for  the purpose of  wage and hour laws,  in particular                                                               
the minimum  wage requirements.  HB 539 is  very important  to UA                                                               
for its practicum programs because  providers are concerned about                                                               
the amount of  liability they are exposed  to when participating,                                                               
particularly in  the health and  construction fields.  He pointed                                                               
out  that last  year,  the  UA had  a  great  deal of  difficulty                                                               
securing enough practicum opportunities for graduating students.                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS asked how CSHB  539(L&C) differs from SB 369, which                                                               
the committee heard and took action on the prior week.                                                                          
MR. HILYARD said  it is his understanding that the  two pieces of                                                               
legislation are identical.                                                                                                      
MR. PETE  KELLY, University of  Alaska, verified that SB  369 was                                                               
modeled verbatim  after CSHB  539(L&C) so the  two bills  are the                                                               
SENATOR OGAN  moved CSHB 539(L&C) from  committee with individual                                                               
recommendations and attached fiscal notes.                                                                                      
The motion carried with Senators  Ogan, Therriault and Seekins in                                                               

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