Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532
04/13/2018 01:30 PM FINANCE
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CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 110(L&C) "An Act relating to the Board of Massage Therapists; relating to the practice of massage therapy; relating to massage therapy establishments; relating to the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development; and providing for an effective date." 5:19:01 PM CRYSTAL KOENEMAN, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE SAM KITO (via teleconference), discussed the bill. The bill was brought forward by the Board of Massage Therapy, which was newly established in 2015. She referenced the recent board extension, at which time some licensure issues came forward. The bill would address the issues to more effectively license members of the profession, give the board better oversight, and protect Alaskans. Ms. Koeneman continued discussing the bill. She relayed that the bill would require the Board of Massage Therapy to adopt regulations covering massage therapy establishments; which would give authorities the tools needed to shut down operations of human trafficking and prostitution that tried to use massage therapy as a front. In 2015 the board learned from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that there were 35 businesses in Anchorage that were used as a front for human trafficking. Regulating massage establishments gave the board an additional tool in order to hold owners of the establishments accountable. Ms. Koeneman relayed that the bill would increase the minimum course of study from 500 hours to 625 hours, which was in line with national standards. In 2012, national massage therapy associations met and had developed new standards for the industry. One recommendation was to increase the required course hours, but the information had not been available at the time the original legislation passed. All three massage schools in Alaska would exceed the minimum course hours requirement. The bill also reduced the minimum required safety education which covered blood- borne pathogen coursework, in order to address redundancy. Ms. Koeneman detailed that there was a change to the bill in the other body that would remove a restriction that prevented members having served on prior boards. The bill also modified the bi-annual fingerprint requirement to every six years, which would decrease burden on licensees but would still gave the board adequate oversight to continue background checks. 5:24:10 PM Co-Chair MacKinnon OPENED public testimony. 5:24:44 PM DAVID EDWARDS-SMITH, CHAIR, BOARD OF MASSAGE THERAPISTS, SOLDOTNA (via teleconference), spoke in support of the bill. Co-Chair MacKinnon asked if Mr. Edwards-Smith could speak to the fingerprinting issue. Mr. Edwards-Smith stated that HB 110 would reduce the burden of a renewing licensee having to redo fingerprinting every period. He felt fingerprinting was very important for background checks, but thought reducing it to every three cycles would be adequate. Co-Chair MacKinnon asked Mr. Edwards-Smith if the board had any problem with chain-of-custody with fingerprints. Mr. Edwards-Smith referenced a letter from Sara Chambers, Deputy Director, DCBPL (copy on file) that indicated the division was looking to make improvements including a board recommendation to accept a certain type of finger printers. He discussed the concept of chain-of-custody and recommendations. 5:28:20 PM Co-Chair MacKinnon referenced a letter from the Americans For Prosperity group (copy on file) that supported reducing the number of required course hours. She asked if he could speak to the board's discussion on the matter. Mr. Edwards-Smith stated that the 625 required course hours proposed in the bill was a product of seven national massage therapy organizations that had been active for many years. The groups had done a study to look at the tests and educational requirements for massage therapy. The comprehensive study and other boards had determined 625 hours was a national standard. 5:31:08 PM Co-Chair MacKinnon asked if the board anticipated that other states would follow suit after the study was disseminated. She questioned if other states believed 500 hours was adequate. Mr. Edwards-Smith indicated that through conversation with other states, the board understood that every single state that was licensing massage therapy would like to change to 625 hours. Co-Chair MacKinnon asked if the board had discussed the issue and was supportive of the proposed 625 required hours. Mr. Edwards-Smith answered in the affirmative. 5:33:36 PM Senator Micciche thought it seemed as though half of states had 500 hours of required training. He preferred the minimum adequate hours of training. He asked what could be gained through the additional training. Mr. Edwards-Smith asserted that additional education would provide for a stronger therapist with backgrounds related to pathology, anatomy and physiology, and technique. He discussed proposed changes to curriculum, to better deal with pathologies that had changed since the adoption of the 500-hour requirement. Senator Micciche wished he had a list of all the states required hours of education and training. 5:35:36 PM Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony. Vice-Chair Bishop asked if fingerprints changed. Ms. Koeneman answered in the negative, and informed that fingerprints were not kept on file, and so the fingerprints would need to be reprocessed to be run through a national background check program. Co-Chair MacKinnon asked if Ms. Koeneman had any other points to make on the fingerprinting change. Ms. Koeneman offered that the current fingerprinting process for boards under DCCED was the same that was in place for a concealed carry permit. She noted that the FBI had not flagged other boards over the fingerprinting process but had flagged that of the Board of Massage Therapy. She thought that appearances might suggest that the process was less secure, but in reality the process was secure. Co-Chair MacKinnon referenced the aforementioned April 9, 2018 letter authored by Sara Chambers of DCCED, regarding audit findings. 5:38:59 PM Ms. Koeneman pointed out that there were 495 programs throughout the country that offered massage therapy coursework and certification. Of the 495, there were only 73 that fell below the 625 hours. Well over 400 programs across the nation had over 625 hours required to cover all the needed material for massage therapy certification. 5:39:45 PM Vice-Chair Bishop discussed FN 2 from the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. For FY 19 the cost was $10,800. In the out years, there would be a cost of $4,600. He read from the fiscal note analysis on page 2: HB 110 provides authority for the Board of Massage Therapy to establish a license for massage therapy establishments and to develop regulations for licensing requirements. Regulating massage therapy establishments intended to facilitate protection of the pubic from businesses that engage in prostitution, sex trafficking, and the employment of unlicensed persons performing massage-therapy type activities. If the bill passes the following expenses will be incurred: Travel: $4.6 (two trips per year to conduct onside investigative inspections in out years) Services: $10.8 (costs to amend regulations including legal, printing and postage in the first year The potential number of establishments affected by this bill is unknown at this time. Future costs for legal and hearing service expenses in out years are unknown. Professional licensing programs within the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing are funded by Receipt Supported Services, fund source 1156 Rcpt Svcs (DGF). Licensing fees for each occupation are set per AS 08.01.065 so the total amount of revenue collected approximately equals the occupation's actual regulatory costs. 5:41:35 PM Co-Chair MacKinnon thought she may have not spoken accurately regarding revenue and expenses. Many of the boards and licensees were providing DGF, and there had been great concern that the budget should be cut, and she was trying to make a distinction. The state brought in revenues from licensees to support the work of the boards. She noted that the Board of Massage Therapy's expenses for 2017 had been $224,300. 5:43:13 PM AT EASE 5:45:58 PM RECONVENED Co-Chair MacKinnon asked about total cost and total expenses, and asked about a discussion of the board's surplus. Ms. McCullough explained that in FY 15, the program was new and had not yet collected licensing fees. The board had gone into a deficit position of $69,926 at the end of FY 15. When revenue was collected in FY 16, $586,230 was brought in and there was a total expenditure of $254,892, for an annual surplus of $331,338. Ms. McCullough discussed expenditures and surpluses since the inception of the board and collection of licensing fees. At the end of FY 17, the board had a surplus balance of $335,053. The department had completed a fee analysis, and lowered fees so the board did not have to carry such a high surplus. 5:48:26 PM Co-Chair MacKinnon thought there had been a rate decrease. Ms. McCullough reiterated that because of the large surplus, the division tried to keep revenues and expenditures as close as possible, as required by AS 08.01.065. Co-Chair MacKinnon thanked Ms. McCullough for her work. Vice-Chair Bishop MOVED to report CSHB 110(L&C) out of Committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal note. Senator Micciche OBJECTED for discussion. Senator Micciche discussed his objection. He stated that he didn't normally support an increase to training requirements. He thought there were many people in the state that were looking for work and that additional training added additional expense. He surmised that most of the people in the industry supported the increase. He spoke about DGF and clarified that the funds were generally from Alaskans paying for a service. Senator Micciche WITHDREW his OBJECTION. There being NO further OBJECTION, it was so ordered. CSHB 110(L&C) was REPORTED out of committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with one previously published fiscal note: FN2 (CED). 5:51:39 PM AT EASE 5:53:41 PM RECONVENED Co-Chair MacKinnon discussed the schedule for the following day.
|HB 110 Massage Therapy Testimony.docx||
SFIN 4/13/2018 1:30:00 PM