Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/13/2018 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 4:20 p.m. --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 110(L&C) Out of Committee
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled from 4/12/18 at 1:30pm>
Moved CSHB 318(FIN) Out of Committee
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled from 4/12/18 at 1:30pm>
Moved HB 323 Out of Committee
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled from 4/12/18 at 1:30pm>
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                                                                    
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                                                                    
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                                                                    
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                                                                    
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                                                                    
     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                                                                    
     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                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon   asked  about  total  cost   and  total                                                                    
expenses,  and  asked  about a  discussion  of  the  board's                                                                    
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                                                                    
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                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon discussed the schedule for the following                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 110 Massage Therapy Testimony.docx SFIN 4/13/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 110