"An Act extending the date by which the Task Force on Workers' Compensation shall report its findings and the termination date of that task force; and providing for an effective date. "
Senate Bill 260 carries out two simple purposes. First, it extends the Task Force on Workers' Compensation by one year terminating its charge on February 28, 2007. Secondly, the Bill allows the Task Force an additional two months in which to complete its report to the Legislature. The new due date is February 15, 2006.
During the first session of the 24th Legislature the Governor introduced Senate Bill 130 designed to implement necessary reforms within the State's workers' compensation program. Additionally, SB 130 established a Task Force on Workers' Compensation. The Task Force was charged with reviewing and analyzing a broad range of issues relevant to Alaska's workers' compensation system. Senate Bill 130 was signed into law on the 15th of September 2005.
The Task Force consists of ten public members and three members of the Legislature. Public members are as follows: Dr. John Duddy (Alaska State Medical Association); Rod Betit (Alaska State Hospital & Nursing Home Association); Michael Jensen (WC Attorney-Employee); Trena Heikes (WC Attorney-Employer); Kevin Dougherty (Organized Employees); Ted Quinn ( Non-organized Employees); Conni Livsey (WC Insurance Carriers); Jamie Slack (Self-Insured Employers); Linda Lewis (Small Businesses), and; Everett Billingslea (Large Businesses).
The Legislature is represented by: Senator Gretchen Guess (minority member); Senator Ralph Seekins (Senate co-chair), and; Representative Bob Lynn (House co-chair).
The Task Force held eight meetings between the 29th of September 2005 and the 5th of January 2006 out of which was produced a Final Report to the Legislature. The Report covers a broad range of topics and concludes with a recommendation for a one year extension. This recommendation is made as a result of the Task Force's late commencement as well as the complexity of the subject matter.
The Task Force has no budget and has been conducting all its work telephonically. This mode of operation will continue thereby producing zero fiscal impact.