Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/07/2005 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Moved Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
Moved CSHB 83(FIN) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 149(FIN) Out of Committee
HOUSE BILL NO. 123                                                                                                            
     "An  Act relating  to  occupational  licensing fees  and                                                                   
     receipts; extending the termination  dates of the Boards                                                                   
     of  Barbers  and Hairdressers,  Social  Work  Examiners,                                                                   
     Pharmacy,  Professional   Counselors,  Psychologist  and                                                                   
     Psychological   Associate   Examiners,  and   Veterinary                                                                   
     Examiners;  relating  to an  exemption  that allows  one                                                                   
     bill  to continue  more than one  board, commission,  or                                                                   
     agency program; and providing for an effective date."                                                                      
JOSH APPLEBEE,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  TOM ANDERSON,  sponsor                                                                   
of HB  123, explained  that the bill  extends the  sunset for                                                                   
several  boards.    The  dates  were  extended  to  meet  the                                                                   
requirements of the legislative audit.                                                                                          
Representative Weyhrauch wondered  why the boards are audited                                                                   
together in  this bill.  Mr.  Applebee replied that  it is an                                                                   
experiment  that has  turned out  not to be  as efficient  as                                                                   
originally intended.                                                                                                            
2:53:41 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Stoltze  asked why  it  is  not efficient.    Mr.                                                                   
Applebee  explained that  six boards  were selected  and soon                                                                   
different interests pulled the  bill in different directions.                                                                   
Vice-Chair Stoltze  opined that there could be  a tendency to                                                                   
bog down on multiple sunsets.                                                                                                   
RICK URION,  DIRECTOR, OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING,  DEPARTMENT OF                                                                   
COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT,  explained sections 1, 2,                                                                   
3, 4, and  11 of the bill.   He explained that what  it costs                                                                   
to regulate a particular profession  is what the license cost                                                                   
is.   Fines  generated  can be  used  to establish  fees  for                                                                   
licensees.  The law requires regulation  by profession at the                                                                   
board  level.   For example  if there  was a  case against  a                                                                   
physician's assistant under existing  law, whatever that cost                                                                   
is  would be  borne only  by physician's  assistants.   Every                                                                   
licensed profession supports these amendments.                                                                                  
2:59:26 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Stoltze  mentioned  that barbers  complain  about                                                                   
bearing  more  costs  due  to  tattoo  artists'  fines.    He                                                                   
wondered if that is true.                                                                                                       
Mr. Urion said no.  Vice-Chair  Stoltze repeated that it is a                                                                   
big complaint.  Mr. Urion said  he could recall no complaints                                                                   
by the barber board.                                                                                                            
3:02:10 PM                                                                                                                    
ROBERT  LANE, ALASKA  PSYCHOLOGICAL  ASSOCIATION,  ANCHORAGE,                                                                   
(via teleconference)  spoke in support  of HB 123.   He asked                                                                   
for  an   amendment  that   would  keep  license   agreements                                                                   
reciprocal throughout the nation and Canada.                                                                                    
CINDY  BUEHLER,  CHAIR,  ALASKA   STATE  BOARD  OF  PHARMACY,                                                                   
ANCHORAGE, (via teleconference) voiced support of HB 123.                                                                       
3:04:37 PM                                                                                                                    
PAT   DAVIDSON,  LEGISLATIVE   AUDITOR,   LEGISLATIVE   AUDIT                                                                   
DIVISION,  spoke about  audits  conducted  under the  various                                                                   
boards  and   the  recommendations   for  extensions.     She                                                                   
elaborated upon each board's requirements.                                                                                      
3:08:03 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Weyhrauch  referred to  Section  11, the  fee                                                                   
extension.   Ms.  Davidson noted  that funds  would be  moved                                                                   
into a program receipt form. She  observed that the fines and                                                                   
the  penalties vary.  She  explained that  individual  boards                                                                   
vary greatly and gave examples.                                                                                                 
3:10:25 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Weyhrauch questioned  if general fund receipts                                                                   
would be needed.  Ms. Davidson affirmed that they would.                                                                        
Vice-Chair Stoltze MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1:                                                                                  
     Page 1, line 1                                                                                                           
     After "receipts;"                                                                                                        
     Insert "licensing credentials;"                                                                                            
     Page 4                                                                                                                   
     After line 21                                                                                                              
     Insert new section                                                                                                         
     "* Sec. 11.AS 08.86.150 is amended to read:                                                                              
          AS 08.86.150 License by credentials. A person who                                                                   
     is  licensed  or  certified   as  a  psychologist  by  a                                                                   
     licensing authority other  than the state is entitled to                                                                   
     be  licensed in  the state  without  examination of  the                                                                   
     person applies  on the proper application  form, submits                                                                   
     proof of continued competence  as required by regulation                                                                   
     of the  board, pays the  credential review fee,  and the                                                                   
          (1) holds  a doctoral degree with  primary emphasis                                                                   
          on  psychology that  satisfies the requirements  of                                                                   
          AS 08.86.130 and the  examination and qualification                                                                   
          requirements for the  person's out-of-state license                                                                   
          or  certificate  were  essentially  similar  to  or                                                                   
          higher  than  the  examination   and  qualification                                                                   
          requirements  for  licensure  under  this  chapter;                                                                   
          (2)  is  a  diplomate   in  good  standing  of  the                                                                   
          American Board of Professional Psychology[.];or                                                                   
          (3)   is    certified   or   registered    with   a                                                               
          credentialing  organization in psychology  approved                                                               
          by the board in regulation, and with requirements                                                                 
          essentially similar to or higher than the                                                                         
          requirements for licensure under this chapter.                                                                    
     Renumber the remaining sections accordingly.                                                                               
Co-Chair Chenault OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion.                                                                       
JOHN  WALSH,  LOBBYIST,  ALASKA   PSYCHOLOGICAL  ASSOCIATION,                                                                   
JUNEAU,  explained that  Amendment  1 expands  AS  08.86.150,                                                                   
licensing  by  credentials,  and   allows  a  person  who  is                                                                   
certified by  the American  Board of Professional  Psychology                                                                   
to be licensed,  as well as a  person who is registered  by a                                                                   
credentialing  organization  that has  been  approved by  the                                                                   
3:13:08 PM                                                                                                                    
Dr. Lane noted  that there are two boards that  keep track of                                                                   
credentials  for  purpose  of  certification.  There  are  26                                                                   
states  that  have  passed  similar  legislation.  There  are                                                                   
another 18  states in  the works  on similar legislation.  He                                                                   
stressed that  the amendment  would allow  Alaska to  keep up                                                                   
with national trends.                                                                                                           
Co-Chair Chenault WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
Mr. Walsh  noted that  the board would  still be  required to                                                                   
make regulations.                                                                                                               
There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                              
3:16:30 PM.                                                                                                                   
Representative Weyhrauch MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 2:                                                                            
     Page 1, line 5, following "program;":                                                                                    
     Insert "providing that pharmacists  are to be considered                                                                 
     health  care providers  in all instances  in the  Alaska                                                                 
     Statutes in  which that term or its definition  does not                                                                 
     already contain an explicit reference to pharmacists;"                                                                   
     Page 4, following line 21:                                                                                                 
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
     "*  Sec.  11.   AS 08.80  is  amended  by adding  a  new                                                                 
     section to read:                                                                                                           
          Sec. 08.80.015.  Pharmacists as health care                                                                         
     providers.   In all instances  in the Alaska Statutes in                                                                 
     which the term "health care  provider" or the definition                                                                   
     of the term  "health care provider" does  not contain an                                                                   
     explicit reference to pharmacist,  the term "health care                                                                   
     provider" shall  be considered to refer to  or include a                                                                   
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
Representative   Hawker   OBJECTED   for   the   purpose   of                                                                   
Vice-Chair  Stoltze stated asked  for additional  information                                                                   
regarding costs.                                                                                                                
BARRY  CHRISTENSEN, ALASKA  PHARMACY ASSOCIATION,  ANCHORAGE,                                                                   
(via   teleconference)   testified    in   support   of   the                                                                   
legislation.   He noted  that the  amendment would  recognize                                                                   
pharmacists as  health care providers in Alaska  for Medicaid                                                                   
purposes.  The amendment would  not change the scope of their                                                                   
practice.  He  maintained that there would be  no increase in                                                                   
fiscal responsibility to pharmacists.                                                                                           
3:20:59 PM                                                                                                                    
In  response   to  a  question  by  Co-Chair   Chenault,  Mr.                                                                   
Christensen acknowledged that  the amendment would allow them                                                                   
to bill health  care providers, but emphasized  that it would                                                                   
not require them to pay.                                                                                                        
Co-Chair Chenault expressed concern  that the amendment could                                                                   
result in a rather larger fiscal note.                                                                                          
Vice-Chair  Stoltze asked  if  the amendment  would open  the                                                                   
door for pharmacists to prescribe medications.                                                                                  
3:23:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Christensen  noted that the legislation would  not expand                                                                   
the  scope of  practice.   Vice-Chair  Stoltze observed  that                                                                   
simple  issues  can  be  expanded   through  the  courts.  He                                                                   
stressed that it is a major policy issue.                                                                                       
CAREN ROBINSON,  LOBBYIST,  explained that  the intent  is to                                                                   
add the provider  status language to the  definition section.                                                                   
She maintained that  would be an appropriate  amendment.  She                                                                   
referred to HB  95, a public health bill passed  earlier this                                                                   
week,  which  defined  health   care  providers.    She  also                                                                   
referred to  HB 85, which allows  young people to be  able to                                                                   
carry aspirators  in schools,  and which also  defined health                                                                   
care  providers.   She stated  that  there is  no attempt  to                                                                   
expand practice or service.                                                                                                     
3:28:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Croft  noted that it did not  change the scope                                                                   
of the practice for pharmacists.                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker stated that  he would not  support the                                                                   
amendment because  it would affect  all sections of  the bill                                                                   
and there  has not  been sufficient  testimony on the  fiscal                                                                   
note.  He stressed that the legislation was intended as a                                                                       
board renewal.                                                                                                                  
3:30:33 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kelly suggested a narrowing of the amendment.                                                                    
Ms. Robinson referred  to the definition of  pharmacist.  She                                                                   
stated that  the intent was  to simply amend  the definitions                                                                   
system by adding, "and who is  thereby recognized as a health                                                                   
care provider by the state."                                                                                                    
Representative Weyhrauch acknowledged problems with the                                                                         
amendment's drafting.  He WITHDREW Amendment 2.                                                                                 

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