Legislature(2009 - 2010)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/29/2010 09:00 AM FINANCE

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09:08:51 AM Start
09:09:22 AM HB376
09:17:24 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved Out of Committee
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled to 1:30 pm>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 376                                                                                                            
     "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of                                                                     
     Psychologist and Psychological Associate Examiners;                                                                        
     and providing for an effective date."                                                                                      
9:09:22 AM                                                                                                                    
LIZ  CLEMENT, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  BOB HERRON,  explained                                                                    
that  the bill  sponsored  by the  House  Health and  Social                                                                    
Services Committee  would extend  the Board  of Psychologist                                                                    
and  Psychological  Associate  Examiners  from  its  current                                                                    
expiration date  of June 30,  2010 to  a new sunset  on June                                                                    
30, 2018.  She detailed that  the board is composed  of five                                                                    
volunteer members  from around  the state who  are supported                                                                    
by  staff  in  the  Department of  Commerce,  Community  and                                                                    
Economic  Development   (DCCED).  The  board   licenses  and                                                                    
regulates  both psychologists  and psychological  associates                                                                    
in  Alaska,  ensuring  that practitioners  meet  appropriate                                                                    
educational  and   practice  standards  and   provide  safe,                                                                    
professional psychological services to clients.                                                                                 
Ms.  Clement   pointed  out  that   the  2009   Division  of                                                                    
Legislative Audit  Committee report (December 4,  2009, copy                                                                    
on file)  found no  substantive problems  with the  board or                                                                    
its performance,  affirmed the value  of the role  it feels,                                                                    
and recommends an eight-year extension.                                                                                         
Ms. Clement  added that the  DCCED fiscal note  estimates an                                                                    
annual  budget  of  $78,500,  which   is  covered  fully  by                                                                    
licensing  fees collected  from  applicants. She  emphasized                                                                    
the  importance of  passing the  measure during  the current                                                                    
legislative session.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair  Stoltze asked  for  further information  regarding                                                                    
filling boards with qualified applicants.                                                                                       
9:13:04 AM                                                                                                                    
PAT   DAVIDSON,  LEGISLATIVE   AUDITOR,  LEGISLATIVE   AUDIT                                                                    
DIVISION,   LEGISLATIVE   AFFAIRS   AGENCY,   informed   the                                                                    
committee  that   the  board  audit  had   identified  three                                                                    
concerns.  The first  related to  insufficient support  from                                                                    
the  licensing examiner  of the  DCCED  Division of  Boards,                                                                    
Commissions, and Professional  Licensing. The second concern                                                                    
related to timely  filling of board vacancies  by the Office                                                                    
of the  Governor. The  third issue, which  is unique  to the                                                                    
board,  was  inadequate  follow-up  and  monitoring  by  the                                                                    
licensing examiner  for courtesy licenses issued  between FY                                                                    
05  and FY  09. Courtesy  licenses require  practitioners to                                                                    
file  monthly  reports  identifying  activities  in  Alaska;                                                                    
reports by  three of  the eleven  audited were  not complete                                                                    
and not filed in a timely manner.                                                                                               
Co-Chair   Stoltze    asked   whether    Legislative   Audit                                                                    
recommended  the  eight-year  extension   in  spite  of  the                                                                    
concerns.   Ms.   Davidson   replied   that   the   division                                                                    
recommended  the extension  because  it  found the  concerns                                                                    
related to administrative support for  the board and did not                                                                    
represent deficiencies in the operation of the board.                                                                           
JENNIFER   STRICKLER,   OPERATIONS  MANAGER,   DIVISION   OF                                                                    
CORPORATIONS,   BUSINESSES,   AND  PROFESSIONAL   LICENSING,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,  COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT,                                                                    
informed the  committee that the  board had no  vacancy; the                                                                    
term of the chair of eight  years had expired March 1, 2010,                                                                    
and  the governor's  office had  appointed a  replacement on                                                                    
time.  She  acknowledged that  the  division  fell short  in                                                                    
monitoring  courtesy licenses.  She explained  that courtesy                                                                    
licenses are  for practitioners from  outside the  state who                                                                    
come  to Alaska  to do  business,  such as  appear before  a                                                                    
court  or  conduct  short-term practice.  State  regulations                                                                    
require  that  individuals  can  only  obtain  one  courtesy                                                                    
license and can practice in Alaska  for a maximum of only 30                                                                    
days. In addition, the licensee  must submit a report to the                                                                    
division  of how  many  days  they were  in  the state  each                                                                    
month. She noted  that there had only been  11 such licenses                                                                    
between  2005 and  2009; there  were  none in  the past  two                                                                    
Ms. Strickler  reported that in  response to the  audit, the                                                                    
chair of the  board stated that he would make  the review of                                                                    
courtesy licenses a regular agenda item at board meetings.                                                                      
9:17:24 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Hawker   stated  concerns   about  the   need  for                                                                    
administrative support by the department.                                                                                       
Co-Chair Stoltze opined that the  extension audits have been                                                                    
sunset  reviews on  the  administration as  much  as on  the                                                                    
individual boards. He expected improvement.                                                                                     
Co-Chair  Stoltze asked  for  details  regarding the  fiscal                                                                    
note. Ms. Strickler responded that  the fiscal note is based                                                                    
on the  average biennial  costs of  the board;  licenses are                                                                    
issued  for two-year  periods. The  $78,500 operating  costs                                                                    
are  paid  for through  collection  of  licensing fees.  She                                                                    
noted that  the board is  required by statute to  meet three                                                                    
times each  year, necessitating the $15,300  for travel; the                                                                    
$28,200  for contractual  costs  covered  hearing costs  and                                                                    
attorney's fees.                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hawker MOVED  to report  HB 376  out of  Committee                                                                    
with individual recommendations  and the accompanying fiscal                                                                    
HB  376 was  REPORTED  out  of Committee  with  a "do  pass"                                                                    
recommendation  and with  the attached  fiscal  note by  the                                                                    
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB376 Supporting Documents - BPPAE Audit Summary (2).pdf HFIN 3/29/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 376
HB376 Supporting Documents Letter Phillip Baker 3-10-10.pdf HFIN 3/29/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 376
HB 376 backup - BPPE info.pdf HFIN 3/29/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 376
HB 376 backup - BPPE Legislative Audit 2009 Report.pdf HFIN 3/29/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 376
HB 376 fiscal note 1 - DCCED.pdf HFIN 3/29/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 376
HB 376 sponsor statement.pdf HFIN 3/29/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 376