Legislature(2021 - 2022)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/26/2021 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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Audio Topic
01:30:11 PM Start
01:31:08 PM Confirmation Hearing(s)
02:00:19 PM SB86
02:28:23 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
+ Alaska State Board of Public Accountancy - TELECONFERENCED
Rachel Hanks, Steven Jordan
State Board of Registration for Architects,
Engineers, and Land Surveyors - Edward "Ed"
Leonetti, Jake Maxwell
Board of Chiropractic Examiners - Tim Kanady,
Brian Larson
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
              SB  86-TEMPORARY PERMITS & LICENSES                                                                           
2:00:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO announced the consideration  of SENATE BILL NO. 86                                                               
"An  Act   relating  to   occupational  licensing;   relating  to                                                               
temporary licenses, permits, and  certificates; and providing for                                                               
an effective date."                                                                                                             
She explained  that this  committee bill  extracted the  issue of                                                               
temporary  licensure from  the  Governor's Disaster  Declaration.                                                               
This is  the second hearing  and there is a  committee substitute                                                               
for the committee's consideration.                                                                                              
2:00:49 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HOLLAND moved to adopt  the Committee Substitute (CS) for                                                               
SB 86, work order 32-LS0531\B, as the working document.                                                                         
2:01:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO objected for an explanation of changes.                                                                          
2:01:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MELODIE  WILTERDINK, Staff,  Senator Mia  Costello, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, recounted that there  were just two                                                               
changes between  version A  and version  B of SB  86. On  page 1,                                                               
line 6, the  term "may" was changed to "shall"  so subsection (a)                                                               
reads as follows:                                                                                                               
     (a) The  department may on  an expedited basis  issue a                                                                    
     temporary  license, permit,  or certificate  under this                                                                    
     section  to engage  in  an  occupation regulated  under                                                                    
     this   chapter   to   an   individual   who   holds   a                                                                    
     corresponding license,  permit, or certificate  in good                                                                    
     standing in another jurisdiction  and pays the required                                                                    
     fee  for a  temporary license,  permit, or  certificate                                                                    
     established by the department.                                                                                             
On page  2, lines 2 through  5, a new subsection  (c) establishes                                                               
that  the   Department  of   Commerce,  Community   and  Economic                                                               
Development  (DCCED)  shall  issue   a  temporary  license  to  a                                                               
qualified  military spouse  within 10  days after  it receives  a                                                               
complete application from  the spouse of an  active duty military                                                               
2:03:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO   removed  her  objection.  Finding   no  further                                                               
objection, version B was adopted.                                                                                               
2:04:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SARA CHAMBERS, Director, Division  of Corporations, Business, and                                                               
Professional   Licenses,   Department  of   Commerce,   expressed                                                               
appreciation  that   the  committee  was  working   on  temporary                                                               
licensure for  military spouses,  which the  governor recommended                                                               
in  previous years  and the  division has  worked on  for several                                                               
years  with   Alaska's  military   community.  She   offered  her                                                               
understanding that  SB 86 would move  all professional licensures                                                               
forward  as   quickly  and  efficiently  as   possible  to  allow                                                               
individuals  to get  to work  while they  finish their  permanent                                                               
license application in the state.                                                                                               
MS.  CHAMBERS  said   the  original  bill  and   the  CS  provide                                                               
safeguards   such  that   applicants  would   need  to   hold  an                                                               
unencumbered  license in  another state,  meaning they  have been                                                               
vetted  and  they  meet  health  and  safety  standards.  The  CS                                                               
requires the division to issue  a temporary license to applicants                                                               
that  meet those  requirements. She  shared that  the number  one                                                               
complaint  the  division  receives  is about  the  wait  time  to                                                               
receive a license  and get to work. SB 86  would help by allowing                                                               
the  individual  to  work  after providing  proof  of  the  basic                                                               
education and safety measures and allow  time for the rest of the                                                               
documents  to arrive.  In particular,  the needs  of active  duty                                                               
military spouses are a priority for  the division and SB 86 helps                                                               
in that regard, she said.                                                                                                       
2:07:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO asked if the January  1, 2022 effective date is to                                                               
allow  time  for  the  boards  to  write  regulations  or  if  an                                                               
immediate effective date would be more helpful.                                                                                 
MS.  CHAMBERS said  she was  satisfied with  the January  1, 2022                                                               
effective date to allow time  for the boards to write regulations                                                               
and complete forms and application processes.                                                                                   
CHAIR COSTELLO offered her understanding  that if the legislature                                                               
passed  a  measure that  allowed  the  governor to  address  some                                                               
pandemic  concerns without  a disaster  declaration, SB  86 would                                                               
become  effective after  that to  allow  time for  the boards  to                                                               
draft regulations.                                                                                                              
MS. CHAMBERS said she agrees.                                                                                                   
CHAIR COSTELLO asked Ms. Goodman to  share her story and tell the                                                               
committee  whether she  believes  that SB  86  would address  her                                                               
2:09:59 PM                                                                                                                    
MARYBETH  GOODMAN, representing  self, Anchorage,  Alaska, stated                                                               
support for SB 86 and offered the following personal account:                                                                   
     I  am a  licensed professional  counselor in  the great                                                                    
     state of Alaska. I also  hold licenses in North Dakota,                                                                    
     Nebraska, Colorado, Florida,  Missouri, New Mexico, and                                                                    
     Virginia.  I  also  hold a  national  certification  in                                                                    
     counseling. I  have been practicing  for over  22 years                                                                    
     and  I  hold  special certification  in  trauma,  post-                                                                    
     traumatic  stress  disorder,   family  systems,  eating                                                                    
     disorders,  critical  incident stress  management,  and                                                                    
     autism  and  sensory  processing disorders.  My  resume                                                                    
     boasts   experience   with   inner   city   psychiatric                                                                    
     emergency   rooms,   residential   treatment   centers,                                                                    
     nationally  acclaimed  eating   disorder  clinics,  and                                                                    
     veteran rehabilitation nonprofit  organizations. I have                                                                    
     a 25-year job history that  would impress even the most                                                                    
     selective employers. I have  been diligent in gathering                                                                    
     continuing  education units  for  all my  22 years  and                                                                    
     have amassed well over 750 hours.                                                                                          
     I am  a veteran spouse  now for  5 months and  prior to                                                                    
     that  an  active  duty  spouse  for  25  years.  Before                                                                    
     retiring  here  to  Alaska,  we   had  12  formal  duty                                                                    
     stations  in   10  different  states.  I   am  a  self-                                                                    
     proclaimed expert in transferring my license.                                                                              
     I began the process for  licensure here in Alaska as an                                                                    
     active  duty spouse  in October  2019.  My license  was                                                                    
     granted  June  1,  2020, nine  long  months  later.  My                                                                    
     process always takes a little  longer because my degree                                                                    
     was  granted  in  1998,  long  before  digital  records                                                                    
     existed. Anyone  on the committee  remember microfiche?                                                                    
     I was also required to  present all verification of all                                                                    
     of my  licenses held  in other  states. This  means not                                                                    
     only did  I have to wait  for them to certify  and send                                                                    
     them, I  had to pay  9 additional states  anywhere from                                                                    
     $25 to  $100 for these official  verifications. Packing                                                                    
     on transfer  fees and application fees,  my application                                                                    
     cost well over $2000.                                                                                                      
     Requests for  this information is  a needless  delay as                                                                    
     the process  is that  most states verify  through their                                                                    
     website and  are monitored by  their board. Now  I need                                                                    
     you to understand, and please  hear this; I was treated                                                                    
     with  the utmost  kindness and  wonderful curtesy  from                                                                    
     the counseling board, often  conversing with them every                                                                    
     day for months.                                                                                                            
     However, throughout  this entire  process, I  felt like                                                                    
     my  experience   and  my  other  state   licenses  were                                                                    
     invalid,  that  my  22  years  of  clinical  experience                                                                    
     simply did  not count.  I eventually  had to  quote the                                                                    
     Military  Spouse Portability  Act  or House  Resolution                                                                    
     5683 and asked  if I needed to get  legal assistance to                                                                    
     navigate this process.                                                                                                     
     I can  only speak  from my  personal experience  in the                                                                    
     area of mental  health counseling. I can  tell you that                                                                    
     in  my  22  years  of  clinical  practice  in  multiple                                                                    
     states,  my  techniques  have  only  changed  based  on                                                                    
     clinical  empirical evidence,  not based  on where  the                                                                    
     client lives.                                                                                                              
     Temporary licenses issued  immediately upon application                                                                    
     completion is misleading.  My application was completed                                                                    
     in March  and my license  was issued in June.  That's a                                                                    
     respectable  amount   of  time.  However,   getting  my                                                                    
     application complete took a  significant amount of time                                                                    
     simply  because of  the mandates  places on  me by  the                                                                    
     licensure  board.  It's   unnecessary  and  delays  the                                                                    
     process  of getting  spouses  to  work. My  application                                                                    
     took nine  long months. Nine  months that I  could have                                                                    
     been helping the residents of  Alaska, nine months that                                                                    
     I  could  have  been  paying income  tax.  Nine  months                                                                    
     matters.  Helping  military spouses  establish  license                                                                    
     and  employment  benefits,   benefits  our  communities                                                                    
     financially   and   by    filling   critically   needed                                                                    
     I  am  an asset  to  your  state.  I  am here  to  fill                                                                    
     vacancies that  are unfilled.  I am  here to  solve the                                                                    
     deficit  of mental  health  providers.  I volunteer  20                                                                    
     hours  per month  to assist  in suicide  prevention and                                                                    
     suicide  education in  our community.  I am  present in                                                                    
     the  veteran and  military  mental health  communities,                                                                    
     helping  individuals  who  are  at high  risk.  I  will                                                                    
     supervise,  educate,  and mentor  licensure  candidates                                                                    
     who  are graduating  from local  institutions. I  am an                                                                    
     active voter, I  am your constituent, I  am not unique.                                                                    
     There  are many  major  military  institutions in  this                                                                    
     state  that  boast  the  highest  caliber  of  military                                                                    
     spouse. Please do not ignore this resource.                                                                                
     In closing, I  would like to thank you  for allowing me                                                                    
     to practice  mental health  counseling here.  Thank you                                                                    
     for giving  me the  opportunity to  leave this  state a                                                                    
     little bit better  than where I found it.  I'm sure you                                                                    
     can relate to  that statement because that  is what you                                                                    
     too have been called to do as legislators.                                                                                 
2:12:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS joined the committee.                                                                                           
CHAIR  COSTELLO  thanked  her  for  the  powerful  testimony  and                                                               
relayed  the  committee's  interest   in  helping  and  welcoming                                                               
military spouses.                                                                                                               
SENATOR HOLLAND described her qualifications  as unique and asked                                                               
if she agreed  that the temporary license should be  valid for 12                                                               
months rather than 6 months.                                                                                                    
MS. GOODMAN said she agrees.                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO asked  Ms. Perreault  to comment  on whether  Ms.                                                               
Goodman's experience  is common for  military spouses and  if she                                                               
knows  of a  state that  handles military  spouse licensure  more                                                               
2:17:11 PM                                                                                                                    
TAMMIE  L. PERREAULT,  Northwest Regional  Liaison, Defense-State                                                               
Liaison  Office,  Office of  the  Deputy  Assistant Secretary  of                                                               
Defense,  Joint  Base  Lewis   McCord,  Washington,  thanked  the                                                               
committee for the  opportunity to speak in support of  SB 86. She                                                               
advised that  16 other states  provide an exception  for military                                                               
spouses  to receive  a temporary  license based  on licensure  in                                                               
another state. She said Ms.  Goodman's story is not unique, which                                                               
is why the  Department of Defense views it as  a priority to help                                                               
improve military spouse licensure.  She highlighted that DoD sent                                                               
a letter to the governor  last year specifically asking the State                                                               
of Alaska to move forward on  this issue. She said SB 86 reflects                                                               
much  of  what her  office  and  Director Chamber's  office  have                                                               
worked  toward on  this issue.  She agreed  with Senator  Holland                                                               
that  one year  would  be  an appropriate  time  for a  temporary                                                               
license that  is issued based  on a  license in good  standing in                                                               
another state.                                                                                                                  
CHAIR COSTELLO stated that the  committee was open to suggestions                                                               
from  both  the  Department  of   Defense  and  the  Division  of                                                               
Corporations, Business, and Professional  Licenses to improve the                                                               
SENATOR  HOLLAND reminded  those  listening that  SB 86  captures                                                               
military  spouses,  but  it  is   an  effort  to  streamline  the                                                               
licensing  process for  all  individuals who  come  to Alaska  to                                                               
enter the workforce.                                                                                                            
CHAIR COSTELLO  said she appreciated  his comments. She  said the                                                               
difference between  this measure  and the temporary  licensure in                                                               
the  Governor's Disaster  Declaration  is  that this  legislation                                                               
says the division  shall issue the spouse of a  military member a                                                               
license within  10 [business] days  of the  complete application.                                                               
She noted  that other  professions would  also have  a temporary,                                                               
one-year license.  She asked Ms.  Chambers if the  division could                                                               
achieve the 10-day statutory deadline should the bill pass.                                                                     
2:21:13 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. CHAMBERS  replied, it would  be difficult to meet  the 10-day                                                               
deadline or any mandated time  because the division does not have                                                               
the  staff to  take  on additional  work.  However, the  division                                                               
would follow  the policy set  by the legislature and  ensure that                                                               
happens  by  requesting  additional resources.  She  offered  her                                                               
understanding that  one of the  best practices DoD employs  is to                                                               
have a  single point  of contact within  the licensing  agency to                                                               
assist  military spouses  navigate  the  labyrinth of  government                                                               
requirements. With  additional resources,  the division  would be                                                               
more likely  to be able  to achieve  the mandated window  and the                                                               
increased  work  of  temporary licensure  for  all  programs  and                                                               
follow best practices.                                                                                                          
CHAIR  COSTELLO   noted  Senator   Stevens'  presence   and  that                                                               
Representative David Nelson was in the audience.                                                                                
2:23:16 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS asked what the  division has to accomplish in the                                                               
10-day  window   following  receipt  of  the   military  spouse's                                                               
complete application for the temporary license.                                                                                 
MS. CHAMBERS replied, SB 86  requires the division to ensure that                                                               
the  applicant's license  in the  other jurisdiction  is in  good                                                               
standing.  Technological  advances and  the  ability  to do  more                                                               
online  has   made  it  easier   to  check  licensure   in  other                                                               
jurisdictions. However, the problem  with meeting any deadline is                                                               
that the  division has  43 different  licensing programs;  no one                                                               
person is  an expert in all  programs; and the division  does not                                                               
have staff redundancy  to cover when someone is not  at work. She                                                               
emphasized that  the division wants  to meet the  requirement for                                                               
military spouses and improve the  turnaround for everyone seeking                                                               
a temporary license.                                                                                                            
CHAIR  COSTELLO asked  Ms.  Chambers and  Ms.  Perreault if  they                                                               
agree on the benefits of having  a point person in Alaska to help                                                               
military spouses.                                                                                                               
MS.  CHAMBERS agreed  that having  such  concierge service  would                                                               
help the division  meet the needs of military  spouses and reduce                                                               
their frustration.  She highlighted  that DoD  has made  it clear                                                               
that  basing decisions  will in  part be  dependent on  a state's                                                               
military family friendliness. She posited that meeting some of                                                                  
DoD's best practices would not only improve quality standards                                                                   
for spouses but also provide economic benefit to the state.                                                                     
2:27:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO thanked the invited testifiers and stated she                                                                    
would hold SB 86 in committee for further consideration.                                                                        

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SLAC GOV Appointee Rachel Hanks Board Application Redacted.pdf SL&C 3/26/2021 1:30:00 PM
SLAC GOV Appointee Rachel Hanks Resume Redacted.pdf SL&C 3/26/2021 1:30:00 PM
SLAC GOV Appointee Steven Jordan Board Application Redacted.pdf SL&C 3/26/2021 1:30:00 PM
SLAC GOV Appointee Steven Jordan Resume Redacted.pdf SL&C 3/26/2021 1:30:00 PM
SLAC GOV Appointee Edward Leonetti Board Application Redacted.pdf SL&C 3/26/2021 1:30:00 PM
SLAC GOV Appointee Edward Leonetti Resume Redacted.pdf SL&C 3/26/2021 1:30:00 PM
SLAC GOV Appointee Jake Maxwell Resume Redacted.pdf SL&C 3/26/2021 1:30:00 PM
SLAC GOV Appointee Timothy Kanady Board Application Redacted.pdf SL&C 3/26/2021 1:30:00 PM
SLAC Gov Appointee Timothy Kanady Personal Statement.pdf SL&C 3/26/2021 1:30:00 PM
SLAC GOV Appointee Brian Larson Board Application Redacted.pdf SL&C 3/26/2021 1:30:00 PM
CSSB 86 Version B.pdf SL&C 3/26/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 86
CSSB 86 Sectional Analysis Version B.pdf SL&C 3/26/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 86