Legislature(1995 - 1996)

05/03/1995 01:43 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                  HB 274 TUBERCULOSIS CONTROL                                 
                                                                              
 The next item on the agenda was CSHB 274 (JUD).  ELMER LINDSTROM,             
 special assistant to Commissioner Purdue in the Dept. of Health &             
 Social Services (DHSS), testified.  HB 274 was introduced at the              
 request of the Governor, as the result of several incidents this              
 past year relating to the recent outbreak of tuberculosis in                  
 Alaska.  In these incidents, highly contagious individuals were               
 unable, or unwilling, to take their medication.  Under existing               
 statute, DHSS sought to require those individuals to take the                 
 medication.  The existing statute does provide for quarantine.  In            
 one instance, DHSS was taken to court on the premise the existing             
 law is deficient and does not provide the necessary due process               
 guarantees for an individual subject to quarantine.  At the advice            
 of the Department of Law, HB 274 was drafted to establish due                 
 process rights, and allow DHSS to quarantine people in rare                   
 instances where people are unable or unwilling to take medication.            
 An identical bill was introduced in the Senate (SB 138), and was              
 heard in the Senate HESS committee.  Identical committee changes              
 were made to both versions.  The two changes by the House Judiciary           
 committee were to eliminate any reference to criminal penalties for           
 individuals subject to quarantine.  Second, an individual subject             
 to these proceedings would be allowed to seek that any court                  
 proceedings be closed door proceedings.                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR felt CSHB 274 (JUD) to be a fine piece of                      
 legislation, but expressed concern that people can be put in jail             
 for tuberculosis, but not for intentionally infecting others with             
 AIDS.                                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN moved CSHB 274 (JUD) out of committee with individual           
 recommendations.  There being no objection, the motion carried.               

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