Legislature(1995 - 1996)

01/16/1996 08:00 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 HB 382 - EXTEND BOARD OF DISPENSING OPTICIANS                               
 HB 404 - EXTENDING BOARD OF CHIROPRACTORS                                    
 HB 405 - EXTEND BOARD OF OPTOMETRISTS                                         
                                                                              
 Number 0529                                                                   
                                                                               
 The first order of business to come before the House State                    
 Affairs Committee was HB 382, HB 404 and HB 405.                              
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said she prepared HB 382 and her Committee Aide,                  
 Walter Wilcox, was here to make the presentation.                             
                                                                               
 Number 0544                                                                   
                                                                               
 WALTER WILCOX, Committee Aide, House State Affairs Committee,                 
 read the sponsor statement for HB 382, HB 404 and HB 405.  House              
 Bill 382 extended the board for four years, HB 404 extended the               
 board for five years, and HB 405 extended the board for five                  
 years.  Mr. Wilcox stated the boards were responsible for                     
 overseeing the licensing of doctors that were covered by the                  
 appropriate board.  The board must be extended, he stated, if the             
 doctors were to be licensed.  He further stated the fiscal notes              
 identified the cost of the programs which were included in the                
 1997 fiscal year operating budget, therefore new funds were not               
 required.  Mr. Wilcox informed the committee, concerns were                   
 raised in the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee regarding                
 some of the boards of which legislation was forthcoming.                      
 Catherine Reardon, Director, Division of Occupational Licensing               
 was here to answer any questions from the committee.                          
                                                                               
 Number 0597                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN asked Mr. Wilcox to share with the                  
 committee the concerns expressed in the Legislative Budget and                
 Audit Committee.                                                              
                                                                               
 MR. WILCOX said he would defer to Ms. Reardon to answer that                  
 question.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 0611                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES asked Ms. Reardon to come forth and join them at the              
 table for further discussion.  She informed the committee members             
 HB 382, HB 404 and HB 405 were grouped together because of their              
 similarities, but they would vote on them separately.                         
                                                                               
 Number 0645                                                                   
                                                                               
 CATHERINE REARDON, Director, Division of Occupational Licensing,              
 Department of Commerce and Economic Development, thanked                      
 Representatives James and Kott for introducing the three bills                
 before them.  She stated the boards were up for their scheduled               
 "sunset period."  The Legislative Budget and Audit Committee                  
 recommended extending all three boards, she stated.  The fiscal               
 notes were not new money the division would need, she asserted,               
 but reflected the ongoing cost needed to run the programs.  Ms.               
 Reardon said, the issues brought forth in the "sunset" audits                 
 were relatively minor statute concerns.  For example, the Board               
 of Optometrists audit suggested the application deadline be                   
 regulated by department rather than by statute.  The statute                  
 mandated that the application must be received 15 days before the             
 examination causing administrative trouble in the department.  It             
 also suggested removing statute licensing requirements for branch             
 offices, and finally, it recommended deleting some statute                    
 requirements due to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).                
 The Board of Chiropractor Examiners audit suggested eliminating               
 licensing reciprocity with other states.  The Board of Dispensing             
 Opticians audit suggested eliminating one of two statutes that                
 addressed Alaska licensing requirements for those licensed in                 
 other states.  The audit also suggested instituting a civil fine              
 for practicing the field of opticianry without a license.  In                 
 summary, she stated, the legislative audits were favorable                    
 towards the boards.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 0975                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES thanked Ms. Reardon and opened the floor up for                   
 discussion and questions.                                                     
 Number 0980                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON asked Ms. Reardon if the                        
 Administration would be making suggestions for changes or was it              
 the responsibility of the legislature.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1000                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. REARDON said the Administration agreed with all of the                    
 suggested changes as a result of the audits.  However, the                    
 Governor did not intend to introduce legislation this year.  The              
 concentration was solely on extending the boards at this time.                
                                                                               
 Number 1040                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were further questions or comments.                
                                                                               
 Number 1045                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE SCOT OGAN asked if the boards had any judicial                 
 powers.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 1062                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. REARDON cited the Board of Registration for Architects,                   
 Engineers, Land Surveyors had the ability to fine up to $5,000                
 for unlicensed activity.  However, the great majority of the                  
 boards did not have judicial power, she said.  It was left to the             
 court system burdened with perceived more serious cases.  Ms.                 
 Reardon mentioned again the dispensing opticians audit                        
 recommended instituting a civil fine authority for that board.                
                                                                               
 Number 1098                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were further questions or comments and             
 thanked Ms. Reardon for her time.  She called on the first                    
 teleconference participant in Anchorage, Larry Harper.                        
                                                                               
 Number 1114                                                                   
                                                                               
 LARRY HARPER via Anchorage, Licensed Dispensing Optician,                     
 testified and recommended to the committee the Board of                       
 Dispensing Opticians and the Board of Optometrists have the same              
 "sunset" expiration date.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 1175                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Wilcox to respond.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. WILCOX said it was his understanding the intention was to                 
 stagger the expiration dates for the audit department's work                  
 load.  He called on Ms. Reardon to respond further.                           
 Number 1198                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. REARDON said it was her understanding it worked that way in               
 prior years.  She said the chiropractic extension could be                    
 adjusted, however.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 1200                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. WILCOX said there was no objection to making them all the                 
 same.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 1211                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said, that would be up to the committee, and asked if             
 there were further questions or comments.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 1217                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked Ms. Reardon to explain the makeup of                
 the boards.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1242                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. REARDON said there were five members on each board.  The                  
 Board of Optometrists consisted of four licensed optometrists and             
 one public member.  The Board of Chiropractic Examiners consisted             
 of four licensed chiropractors and one public member.  The Board              
 of Dispensing Opticians consisted of four opticians to include                
 some licensed in contacts and some in spectacles, and one public              
 member.  The Board of Dispensing Opticians met one time per year              
 to help keep expenses down, while the other two boards met twice              
 a year.  Teleconference meetings were arranged, when needed.                  
                                                                               
 Number 1350                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES asked if there were further questions or comments.                
                                                                               
 Number 1355                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER moved that HB 382 move from                       
 committee.  Hearing no objection, HB 382 was moved out of the                 
 House State Affairs Committee with the attached fiscal note and               
 individual recommendations.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1375                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN said there was discussion about changing             
 "2000" to "2001" for the Board of Dispensing Opticians.  He asked             
 if the decision was to leave it at "2000."                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1380                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said it would remain as is because there was a motion             
 made and no one objected.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 1390                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved that HB 404 move from committee.                  
 Hearing no objection, HB 404 was moved out of the House State                 
 Affairs Committee with the attached fiscal note and individual                
 recommendations.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 1405                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved that HB 405 move from the committee.              
 Hearing no objection, HB 405 was moved out of the House State                 
 Affairs Committee with the attached fiscal note and individual                
 recommendations.                                                              

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