Legislature(2013 - 2014)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/03/2014 08:30 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 328 BOARD/LICENSING OF MASSAGE THERAPISTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 328(L&C) Out of Committee
+ HB 293 BEAR LICENSE PLATES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 293(STA) Out of Committee
+ HB 324 CONTROLLED SUBST. PRESCRIPTION DATABASE TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 3, 2014                                                                                            
                         8:41 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:41:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Vice  Chair  Neuman  called   the  House  Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 8:41 a.m.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mark Neuman, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Mia Costello                                                                                                     
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Munoz                                                                                                      
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Alan Austerman, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Benjamin  Nageak, Sponsor;  Mary  Schlosser,                                                                    
Staff,   Representative   Benjamin  Nageak;   Diane   Kyser,                                                                    
Proprietor,  Artemis  Enterprise;  Victoria  Dance,  Massage                                                                    
Therapist,  Juneau;  Sara  Chambers, Director,  Division  of                                                                    
Corporations, Business, and  Public Licensing, Department of                                                                    
Commerce, Community  and Economic Development;  Chere Klein,                                                                    
Staff, Representative Peggy  Wilson; Amy Erickson, Director,                                                                    
Division of Motor Vehicles, Department of Administration.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Jill  Motz, Licensed  Massage Therapist,  Chugiak and  Eagle                                                                    
River;  Amanda  Unser,   Alaska  Massage  Therapy  Licensing                                                                    
Coalition, Anchorage; Volker Ruby, Self, Anchorage.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
HB 293    BEAR LICENSE PLATES                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 293(STA)  was REPORTED out of  committee with                                                                    
          a   "do   pass"   recommendation  and   with   one                                                                    
          previously  published  fiscal   impact  note:  FN1                                                                    
          (ADM).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 324    CONTROLLED SUBST.  PRESCRIPTION DATABASE                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
          HB 324 was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 328    BOARD/LICENSING OF MASSAGE THERAPISTS                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 328 (L&C) was  REPORTED out of committee with                                                                    
          a   "do   pass"   recommendation  and   with   one                                                                    
          previously  published  fiscal   impact  note:  FN1                                                                    
          (CED).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Neuman relayed that HB  324 had been removed from                                                                    
the meeting agenda.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 328                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act establishing the Board of Massage Therapists;                                                                      
     relating to the licensing of massage therapists; and                                                                       
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:41:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BENJAMIN  NAGEAK,  SPONSOR,  introduced  the                                                                    
legislation. He  stated that HB  328 established a  Board of                                                                    
Massage    Therapists    and   provided    regulation    for                                                                    
certification. The  legislation included  ethical standards,                                                                    
accountability,  business development,  grievance processes,                                                                    
and facilitated better access to therapy.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MARY  SCHLOSSER,  STAFF,   REPRESENTATIVE  BENJAMIN  NAGEAK,                                                                    
shared  that Alaska  was  one  of six  states  that did  not                                                                    
regulate massage therapy. She  relayed that regulation was a                                                                    
matter  of  public  safety and  professionalism.  Regulation                                                                    
facilitated  standards for  care and  the state  was "behind                                                                    
the  curve"  in  regulation of  massage  therapy.  Licensure                                                                    
allowed massage therapists to  become "in network" providers                                                                    
and  directly  bill  insurance  companies,  which  "endorsed                                                                    
small business"  by allowing the  therapist to  operate more                                                                    
independently. She  cited that  Forbes Magazine  (Fall 2013)                                                                    
rated states  for business  friendliness; Alaska  rated 37th                                                                    
out  of 50  and Alaska  was ranked  44th for  its regulatory                                                                    
environment.  She believed  that the  legislation encouraged                                                                    
greater professional opportunities  in a growing profession.                                                                    
Eighty-four  percent of  massage therapists  supported state                                                                    
licensure.   She  urged   the  committee   to  support   the                                                                    
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  asked  how regulating  the  industry                                                                    
would make the state more business friendly.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Schlosser replied  that licensure  allowed the  massage                                                                    
therapist  to   directly  bill  insurance   companies  which                                                                    
encouraged self-employment.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman  asked  for  an  explanation  of  changes                                                                    
contained    in    the     House    Labor    and    Commerce                                                                    
Committee Substitute (CS).                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Schlosser explained  that the change on page  3, line 28                                                                    
added  a  board  approved  apprenticeship  program.  Another                                                                    
change   tightened   exemption   language   for   structural                                                                    
integration  practitioners  and  Rolfers. The  third  change                                                                    
located on page 8, lines 1  through 8 combined a category of                                                                    
exempted   practices    without   naming    the   individual                                                                    
modalities. She cited  page 3, line 24 and page  4, line 18,                                                                    
and noted that the word  "board" was changed to "department"                                                                    
for   application  processing   purposes.  Located   in  the                                                                    
transition language, the 500  hour requirement for licensure                                                                    
was waived  for massage therapist already  practicing in the                                                                    
state as long as outlying standards were met.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman  asked if  the  sponsor  agreed with  the                                                                    
changes.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Schlosser replied in the affirmative.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Munoz asked  where the apprenticeship program                                                                    
was located in the legislation.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Schlosser replied  that the  provision  was located  on                                                                    
page 3, line 28.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Munoz  supported the program and  was glad to                                                                    
see the bill moving forward.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon appreciated the  bill and viewed it as                                                                    
a pro-business  bill. He  asked for  clarification regarding                                                                    
the required 500 hours for licensure.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Schlosser replied  that a person would have  to attend a                                                                    
board  approved  massage  schools and  that  currently  none                                                                    
existed in Alaska.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon  wondered   whether  the  legislation                                                                    
would foster  the establishment of a  massage therapy school                                                                    
in the state.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Schlosser  thought  that presently  not  enough  demand                                                                    
existed in the state.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon asked whether  licensing fees would be                                                                    
determined by the department.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Schlosser deferred  the question  to the  Department of                                                                    
Commerce, Community and Economic Development (DCCED).                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  supported  the  legislation.  He                                                                    
questioned the membership of the  board. He wondered whether                                                                    
the  composition  of  the  board;  four  practicing  massage                                                                    
therapists  and  one  member of  the  public,  was  standard                                                                    
practice  of board  membership. He  thought that  more of  a                                                                    
balance  between   members  of   the  public   and  licensed                                                                    
practitioners was typical for other boards.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Schlosser  answered that the  board was small  and would                                                                    
allow more therapists to participate on the board.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JILL  MOTZ, LICENSED  MASSAGE THERAPIST,  CHUGIAK AND  EAGLE                                                                    
RIVER  (via   teleconference),  spoke  in  support   of  the                                                                    
legislation. She announced that  she was a massage therapist                                                                    
and  believed   that  the  legislation  would   further  the                                                                    
profession   by  assuring   educational  standards   and  an                                                                    
opportunity to fully participate  in the "evolving" field of                                                                    
health care. She  thought that the public was  entitled to a                                                                    
minimum  level  of  protection provided  by  the  bill.  She                                                                    
reported  that  she  currently   practiced  massage  in  two                                                                    
Burroughs and was assessed licensing  fees in both locations                                                                    
and estimated  that the state  licensing cost would  be less                                                                    
expensive  than under  the current  structure.  She did  not                                                                    
believe the proposed licensing costs were burdensome.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:55:08 AM                                                                                                                    
AMANDA  UNSER, ALASKA  MASSAGE THERAPY  LICENSING COALITION,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), testified  in support of the                                                                    
bill. She stated that she served  on the board of the Alaska                                                                    
chapter of the American  Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).                                                                    
She explained that the coalition  was formed in 2012 for the                                                                    
purpose  of  crafting  a licensing  bill.  Other  healthcare                                                                    
professions  such as  Chiropractors  supported  HB 328.  She                                                                    
clarified  that  there  was currently  two  massage  therapy                                                                    
schools  in  Anchorage  that offered  500  hour,  nationally                                                                    
approved programs.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg asked whether  she was the head of                                                                    
the coalition and  if she was aware  of the responsibilities                                                                    
of licensing board members.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Unser  replied  in the  affirmative  and  relayed  that                                                                    
discussions   were  held   with  other   professional  board                                                                    
members.  She  believed  massage therapists  were  ready  to                                                                    
govern their profession.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
VOLKER RUBY, SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
favor  of  the  legislation.  He related  that  he  was  the                                                                    
Treasurer of  the Alaska chapter  of the AMTA  and practiced                                                                    
massage  therapy for  twelve years.  The bill  would provide                                                                    
therapists with the freedom to  practice massage anywhere in                                                                    
the state and  only pay one yearly fee. He  thought that the                                                                    
fees  would  be  less  expensive than  municipal  fees.  The                                                                    
licensing fees would fund the  board, which eliminated costs                                                                    
for the state. The  proposed state license sets professional                                                                    
standards  for massage  therapy, protected  the public,  and                                                                    
expanded opportunities for massage  therapists. He urged the                                                                    
committee to support HB 328.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DIANE  KYSER, PROPRIETOR,  ARTEMIS ENTERPRISE,  testified in                                                                    
support of  the legislation. She reported  that she operated                                                                    
her  own  massage therapy  business  for  twenty years.  She                                                                    
spoke  to her  work history  and various  duties related  to                                                                    
massage  therapy.  She voiced  that  the  legislation set  a                                                                    
standard  for massage  therapy training  in  the state.  She                                                                    
pointed to  page 3,  line 22  and lines  26 through  29 that                                                                    
required  evidence that  the  practitioner  completed a  500                                                                    
hour  course of  study to  qualify for  a license.  The bill                                                                    
would authorize the board to  determine the requirements for                                                                    
continuing education. She estimated  that three massages per                                                                    
year  would pay  for her  annual licensing  fees and  stated                                                                    
that the cost  was tax deductible. She believed  that HB 328                                                                    
would provide  consistent and updated  educational standards                                                                    
for  massage  therapy  in  the  state  and  ensure  consumer                                                                    
protection.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Guttenberg  thanked   Ms.  Kyser   for  her                                                                    
testimony.  He noted  that many  people  were nervous  about                                                                    
going to massage therapists.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.   Kyser  replied   that  she   provided  education   and                                                                    
information  to first-time  clients  on massage  procedures,                                                                    
what  to expect  during a  massage, and  how to  be a  smart                                                                    
consumer of massage therapy services.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg   asked  for   verification  that                                                                    
currently   massage  therapists   could  not   bill  clients                                                                    
directly and that  HB 328 would authorize  direct billing by                                                                    
the massage therapist.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Kyser replied in the affirmative.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  asked  whether  a  referral  was                                                                    
necessary.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Kyser answered that direct  insurance billing required a                                                                    
professional  licensing board  and referral  from a  medical                                                                    
doctor or  chiropractor. She reiterated that  the bill would                                                                    
provide massage therapists the option to bill insurance.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  wondered whether she  understood that                                                                    
the licensing fee could be increased in the future.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Kyser  replied in the  affirmative. She had served  as a                                                                    
medical licensing assistant and understood the issue.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  noted  that  he had  signed  on  as  a                                                                    
cosponsor.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:07:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICTORIA   DANCE,  MASSAGE   THERAPIST,  JUNEAU,   spoke  in                                                                    
opposition  to  the  bill.  She  reported  that  she  was  a                                                                    
licensed  massage therapist  in  Arizona since  1984, was  a                                                                    
member  of AMTA,  and currently  worked for  six years  in a                                                                    
massage therapy clinic in Juneau.  She offered that she only                                                                    
opposed  the bill  in its  current structure.  She confirmed                                                                    
through the AMTA  that the 500 hour  standard was arbitrary.                                                                    
The  only available  data was  from AMTA  through its  Entry                                                                    
Level Analysis  Project that  concluded that  competency was                                                                    
achieved at  625 hours  of training.  She proposed  that the                                                                    
500   hour  requirement   in  the   legislation  should   be                                                                    
increased. She  stated that massage therapists  would not be                                                                    
able  to bill  insurance directly  if the  bill passed.  She                                                                    
pointed  to  prior  testimony   from  Marty  Hester,  Deputy                                                                    
Director of the  Division of Insurance, DCCED.  She spoke to                                                                    
the licensing  fees associated with  the bill. She  cited an                                                                    
email she had received  from Don Habeger, Director, Division                                                                    
of Corporations, Business  and Professional Licensing, DCCED                                                                    
that stated  that the fee  would be approximately  $550. The                                                                    
fee was  different than what  the coalition had  stated, was                                                                    
higher  than what  municipalities charged,  and higher  than                                                                    
the  amount a  doctor paid.  She felt  the cost  would be  a                                                                    
"burden." She added that  California only required voluntary                                                                    
certification  and massage  was regulated  through municipal                                                                    
ordinances.   She   believed    that   municipalities   were                                                                    
regulating massage  cost effectively  and was not  sure that                                                                    
state law was necessary to regulate the field.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Dance  reported  that the  massage  therapy  board  was                                                                    
modeled  after the  social worker  board. She  believed that                                                                    
massage  therapy   licensure  was  "vulnerable"   to  higher                                                                    
licensing fees  due to investigations. The  "massage parlor"                                                                    
trade did  not exist in  other professions and  made massage                                                                    
therapy   more  susceptible   to  investigations.   She  was                                                                    
informed   that    investigative   costs   were    not   the                                                                    
responsibility  of the  board but  discovered  that was  not                                                                    
true.  She mentioned  that other  boards  were currently  in                                                                    
deficit and  the investigation issue  "made her  nervous" in                                                                    
relation  to the  potential for  increasing licensing  fees.                                                                    
She related that she was confused by the fiscal note.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Dance continued  to discuss her opposition  to the bill.                                                                    
She communicated that she had  received 22 signatures in the                                                                    
past  one and  a half  days in  opposition to  the bill  and                                                                    
wondered  why the  supporters of  the  legislation spoke  of                                                                    
"overwhelming  support."  The  legislation  did  not  define                                                                    
massage therapists as health  care providers. She reiterated                                                                    
her concerns related to the bill.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Dance  stated that  a competency  standard of  500 hours                                                                    
was sufficient  for relaxation massage but  not adequate for                                                                    
medical massage.  She noted the  flaw in the survey  used to                                                                    
justify support for  the bill. She pointed out  that only 40                                                                    
percent of  43 survey  participants wanted licensure  if the                                                                    
bill  "was done  right." She  shared  that her  goal was  to                                                                    
ensure massage licensing was "done right."                                                                                      
Vice-Chair  Neuman  noted   that  Sara  Chambers,  Director,                                                                    
Division  of Corporations,  Business, and  Public Licensing,                                                                    
DCCED would address the committee.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Dance requested  that Ms.  Chambers show  the committee                                                                    
how the  licensing fees were  calculated and whether  it was                                                                    
possible to  calculate fees in relation  to projecting board                                                                    
deficits which take years to accrue.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg did  not believe  the legislature                                                                    
was  qualified nor  could develop  a perfect  model for  the                                                                    
board. He  noted that the  board could set  higher standards                                                                    
if it wanted. The legislature  approved an optimum model for                                                                    
setting  up  the  board and  let  the  professionals  govern                                                                    
themselves. He indicated that the  therapists would not want                                                                    
the legislature  micromanaging its  board. He stated  that a                                                                    
perfect bill was hardly ever seen.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Dance  spoke about  the  Alaska  Constitution. She  was                                                                    
inspired  by the  process of  its creation.  She noted  that                                                                    
when massage  therapy was  initially licensed  mistakes were                                                                    
made.  One-third of  states in  the Lower  48 had  increased                                                                    
hour requirements.  She recommended that the  bill include a                                                                    
provision that the board could raise hour requirements.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg noted that  the board did not need                                                                    
the legislature's permission.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Dance asked for clarification.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Neuman noted that the department would respond.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative    Edgmon    wondered    what    professional                                                                    
experiences  in  or  out  of  the  state  were  driving  her                                                                    
opposition to the bill and  how long she had been practicing                                                                    
massage in Alaska.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:20:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Dance answered  that she had been in Juneau  for 6 years                                                                    
and had been  a massage therapist for 30  years. She relayed                                                                    
that she was  close to retirement and "had  nothing to gain"                                                                    
in her position on the bill.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon  clarified that  he was not  trying to                                                                    
undercut  Ms.  Dance's  testimony.  He  wondered  whether  a                                                                    
health care provider should be added to the board.                                                                              
Ms. Dance  responded in the affirmative.  She explained that                                                                    
it  was especially  important in  light  of the  professions                                                                    
movement  into  medical  massage.  In  some  state  statutes                                                                    
massage   therapists   were   designated  as   health   care                                                                    
providers. She  felt that the designation  was important and                                                                    
recommended  inclusion  if the  bill  aimed  to support  the                                                                    
profession.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  commented   on  municipal  ordinance                                                                    
versus  state licensing.  She noted  the opposing  points of                                                                    
view.   She  wondered   whether  the   municipalities  could                                                                    
regulate massage therapy.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman  surmised  that  municipalities  had  the                                                                    
authority to require licenses.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Thompson agreed with the statement.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson wondered  whether municipalities would                                                                    
be relieved from licensing with passage of the bill.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thompson stated  that  with  passage of  the                                                                    
bill  both  entities  would be  involved  in  licensing.  He                                                                    
discerned that  the reason municipalities  regulated massage                                                                    
therapy was  to ensure  public safety.  Once a  community or                                                                    
municipality  realized   that  massage  therapy   was  state                                                                    
licensed  and regulated  they would  most likely  withdrawal                                                                    
their requirements.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson wondered  whether municipalities would                                                                    
relinquish its regulatory role if  the bill was adopted. She                                                                    
questioned  whether  the   legislation  allowed  for  direct                                                                    
insurance billing.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Unser  replied that the  insurance company  dictated the                                                                    
billing requirements;  who can  bill and whether  a referral                                                                    
was  necessary.   She  shared  that  she   was  licensed  in                                                                    
Washington and billed insurance for  6 years. She cited page                                                                    
9,  Section  7 beginning  on  line  12  and noted  that  the                                                                    
section  clarified the  state versus  municipality licensing                                                                    
issue:                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 7. AS 29.35 is amended  by adding a new section to                                                                    
     read: Sec. 29.35.146.  Licensing of massage therapists.                                                                    
     (a)  The authority  to  license  massage therapists  is                                                                    
     reserved  to the  state,  and,  except as  specifically                                                                    
     provided by  statute, a municipality  may not  enact or                                                                    
     enforce an ordinance requiring professional licensure                                                                      
     of massage therapists. (b) This section applies to                                                                         
     home rule and general law municipalities.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Unser   reported  that  currently   Anchorage,  Valdez,                                                                    
Fairbanks,  and  Palmer   regulated  massage  therapy.  Each                                                                    
municipality   regulated  massage   differently  and   state                                                                    
licensure  would  homogenize  regulations. She  stated  that                                                                    
once state regulation  was established "municipalities would                                                                    
more than likely withdraw."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz  asked  how  many  practitioners  were                                                                    
anticipated to take advantage of the legislation.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SARA   CHAMBERS,   DIRECTOR,   DIVISION   OF   CORPORATIONS,                                                                    
BUSINESS,  AND  PUBLIC  LICENSING, DEPARTMENT  OF  COMMERCE,                                                                    
COMMUNITY  AND   ECONOMIC  DEVELOPMENT,  replied   that  the                                                                    
department estimated approximately 600 licensees.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz reported  that  the  fiscal note  (FN1                                                                    
(CED) contained an annual appropriation  of $50 thousand and                                                                    
would be revenue  neutral. She noted that  divided among 600                                                                    
licensees the $550  figure quoted for annual  fees was high.                                                                    
She  asked  what  the  anticipated   amount  of  the  annual                                                                    
licensing fee was.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Chambers answered  that the  fiscal note  appropriation                                                                    
did not  reflect the department's full  costs. She explained                                                                    
that the  fiscal note was  prepared according to  the Office                                                                    
of  Management  and  Budget  (OMB)  standards  and  did  not                                                                    
include  potential   future  anticipated   additional  costs                                                                    
outlined in the last paragraph  of the fiscal note analysis.                                                                    
The  fiscal   note  and  additional  costs   were  based  on                                                                    
comparable existing licensing programs  such as the Board of                                                                    
Social  Work Examiners.  The division's  rough estimate  was                                                                    
approximately  $550 to  $600 and  the  first biennial  could                                                                    
cost more than the out years due to set up costs.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair   Neuman   requested   that   she   discuss   the                                                                    
information  regarding  all  of  the  fiscal  aspects,  true                                                                    
startup costs, and indirect costs of board establishment.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Munoz  stated that a $550  fee would generate                                                                    
over  $250 thousand  in  revenue and  that  the fiscal  note                                                                    
appropriated $69.8 thousand  in FY 14 and  $49.9 thousand in                                                                    
the out years. She asked for clarification.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:31:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Chambers replied  that the  fiscal  note indicated  the                                                                    
"difference  in the  requested  appropriation  not the  full                                                                    
cost of the program."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Munoz  asked whether the program  costs would                                                                    
increase to $250,000 to $300,000.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Chambers answered  that the  fiscal note  was based  on                                                                    
anticipated expenses  according to the fee  setting statute,                                                                    
AS 08.01.065.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Munoz believed that  the figure was very high                                                                    
and  requested  "more  clarity"  on  the  issue.  She  asked                                                                    
whether  massage therapist  would be  able to  directly bill                                                                    
insurance.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Chambers expressed  uncertainty  and  offered that  the                                                                    
issue was a Division of Insurance function.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  asked  whether there  was  a  sunset                                                                    
included in the bill.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Holmes  pointed to  Section 3, page  2, lines                                                                    
14 through  15 and  relayed that the  board sunsets  on June                                                                    
30, 2018.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  observed  that  short  sunset  dates                                                                    
provided for revisions if necessary.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman noted  that  there would  be a  mandatory                                                                    
legislative budget  and audit sunset review.  He asked about                                                                    
the fiscal  implications of the board  costs, startup costs,                                                                    
and indirect costs.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Chambers  responded  that  the  Board  of  Social  Work                                                                    
Examiners provided  the most  similarities for  the division                                                                    
the  use as  a  model  for the  massage  therapy board.  She                                                                    
detailed  that the  division employed  the information  from                                                                    
the social  work board extracted  from the  divisions annual                                                                    
report  provided   to  the   legislature  (found   on  DCCED                                                                    
website).  The division  averaged the  cost figures  for the                                                                    
social  work  board  over  the  last  six  years,  or  three                                                                    
biennium (the licensing period ran  for one biennium and the                                                                    
report   spanned    three   biennium).   The    costs   were                                                                    
approximately $200,000 for the  last three biennial periods.                                                                    
The  costs had  increased  slightly and  total revenues  for                                                                    
each biennium had  been $200,000. The social  work board had                                                                    
varied above and below the  $200,000 figure and the division                                                                    
planned to recommend a fee  increase. She continued that the                                                                    
direct expenditures of the  board included personal services                                                                    
for  staff and  travel, contractual  services with  entities                                                                    
such   as   Department  of   Law   (DLAW)   and  Office   of                                                                    
Administrative  Hearing,  and   day-to-day  commodities  and                                                                    
totaled  roughly $200  thousand  in the  last biennium.  The                                                                    
investigative cost was included in  the direct costs for the                                                                    
board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms.   Chambers  discussed   investigative  procedures.   She                                                                    
expounded that  each board was  mandated to  investigate any                                                                    
potential licensing  violations and were carried  out by the                                                                    
division's investigative unit. The  board of massage therapy                                                                    
would  fall   under  the  department's  purview   of  normal                                                                    
operation of investigations  concerning civil investigations                                                                    
in order to maintain standards  and the board would bear the                                                                    
full cost  of civil investigations.  Criminal investigations                                                                    
such as  prostitution would fall  under the  jurisdiction of                                                                    
municipal law  enforcement. The costs  were not  incurred by                                                                    
the  licensees.  She  mentioned   that  if  a  licensee  was                                                                    
convicted  of prostitution  the conviction  could lead  to a                                                                    
license action. She noted that  the law was not atypical and                                                                    
her  examples  were based  on  very  "real possibilities  of                                                                    
investigative action."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Chambers related that indirect  expenditures were a cost                                                                    
allocation program  that filtered down through  the division                                                                    
and born  by all licensees  and reflected an  "overhead cost                                                                    
of doing business." She listed  some indirect costs: lights,                                                                    
desks,  human resources,  technical  support,  etc. The  law                                                                    
required that  all of the  costs were the  responsibility of                                                                    
the licensee.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Munoz,  in response  to a question  by, Vice-                                                                    
Chair   Neuman,  reiterated   her   concern  regarding   the                                                                    
licensing  fee matching  the costs  of the  program and  not                                                                    
assessing higher fees than necessary.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Chamber restated  that  the fiscal  note  "was not  the                                                                    
method used to determine the  full costs" for the licensees.                                                                    
She  offered  to  provide  a  more  detailed  analysis  than                                                                    
provided in the fiscal note.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Thompson questioned  the amount that doctor's                                                                    
paid for their professional licensing.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Chambers  explained that the  full cost of  the activity                                                                    
incurred  by  the   board  was  shared  by   the  number  of                                                                    
licensees. A  600 member  board had  a higher  licensing fee                                                                    
than a  larger board  of 2,500,  which was  the size  of the                                                                    
board  for physicians.  Other  factors  that affected  costs                                                                    
were operational  and investigative costs. The  direct costs                                                                    
of the massage therapy board  were estimated to be less than                                                                    
the physician's board. The  medical board paid approximately                                                                    
$200 biannually.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:41:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon  remarked  that  the  bill  was  very                                                                    
detailed  but  he did  not  see  provisions regarding  board                                                                    
member  confirmation.  He  cited   page  11  and  noted  the                                                                    
provision  which  required  initial board  members  to  have                                                                    
practiced massage  for three years prior  to appointment. He                                                                    
asked  for clarification  about the  subsequent confirmation                                                                    
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Chambers replied  that the  division  would review  the                                                                    
transitional language  with the governor's Office  of Boards                                                                    
and Commissions determining  the process of "grandfathering"                                                                    
individuals  based  on  their background.  The  transitional                                                                    
language  would be  used to  determine  eligibility for  the                                                                    
initial board appointments.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon  wondered  why  the  massage  therapy                                                                    
board   members  would   not   need   confirmation  by   the                                                                    
legislature.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Chambers  understood   that  the  typical  confirmation                                                                    
process would be followed for  the massage therapy board and                                                                    
legislative approval was required.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Edgmon  asked   why   a  licensed   massage                                                                    
therapist had to  wait three years before  a therapist could                                                                    
be appointed to the board.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Chambers   deferred  to  the  sponsor   to  answer  the                                                                    
question.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Unser  answered that massage therapists  requested three                                                                    
years of  experience prior to  board appointment to  be able                                                                    
to  make   more  informed  decisions   from  a   real  world                                                                    
understanding of the profession.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon  wondered why  a licensed  health care                                                                    
professional was not designated a seat on the board.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Unser replied that the  members of the coalition did not                                                                    
want  another health  care provider  on the  board to  avoid                                                                    
conflicts  of  interest  with  the  health  care  provider's                                                                    
particular profession.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  asked  about  qualification  for                                                                    
licensing.  He noted  that certification  required at  least                                                                    
500   hours  of   education  or   via   a  board   certified                                                                    
apprenticeship  program. He  surmised that  the board  could                                                                    
increase  the 500  hour requirement  but could  not decrease                                                                    
the  requirement  below 500  hours  or  the individual  must                                                                    
attend an accredited school. He  asked whether his statement                                                                    
was correct.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Chambers  understood  that the  board  would  have  the                                                                    
discretion to increase the number  of hours above 500 if the                                                                    
board determined  the increase was  in the best  interest of                                                                    
the profession.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Neuman CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Gara  requested   a   legal  opinion   from                                                                    
Legislative  Legal   Services  regarding   the  confirmation                                                                    
process. He  declared that  the prosecution  of prostitution                                                                    
would not be an additional cost borne by the board.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz   requested  clarity  on   the  direct                                                                    
billing question.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson reviewed  the  fiscal  note from  the                                                                    
Department of Commerce,  Community and Economic Development,                                                                    
FN1 (CED).  She noted  that $69.8 thousand  was appropriated                                                                    
in FY 15  and the amount of $49.9  thousand was appropriated                                                                    
in the out years FY 16 through FY 20.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  MOVED to REPORT CSHB  328(STA) out of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg   OBJECTED  for   discussion.  He                                                                    
appreciated  the dialog  and believed  HB 328  was "a  model                                                                    
piece  of legislation,"  which allowed  the board  to govern                                                                    
their profession.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.  There                                                                    
being NO further OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CSHB  328 (L&C)  was REPORTED  out of  committee with  a "do                                                                    
pass"  recommendation  and  with  one  previously  published                                                                    
fiscal impact note: FN1 (CED).                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:51:19 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:53:20 AM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 293                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to motor vehicle registration plates;                                                                     
     and providing for an effective date."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:53:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHERE KLEIN,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE PEGGY  WILSON, discussed                                                                    
the legislation.  She explained that the  bear license plate                                                                    
was originally  the state's  bicentennial license  plate and                                                                    
was  recognized in  the Lower  48  as an  iconic "symbol  of                                                                    
Alaska."  She  cited  a recent  carinsurance.com  pole  that                                                                    
discovered that Alaska's plain yellow  license plate was the                                                                    
least  favored  of  all  states.  The  legislation  provided                                                                    
residents the  option of obtaining  the bear plate  as their                                                                    
primary license  plate. She referenced  a discussion  with a                                                                    
past commissioner  of the Department of  Public Safety (DPS)                                                                    
who explained that  the bear was chosen in  1975 because the                                                                    
bear  represented  a  commonality  for  all  Alaskans.  Bear                                                                    
habitat was found throughout the  entire state. She reported                                                                    
that the legislation changed words  in statute for specialty                                                                    
license plates  for "active"  and "former"  firefighters and                                                                    
EMTs. The  bill removed the  words "active" and  "former" so                                                                    
that all  firefighters; volunteer, paid, former,  or retired                                                                    
had the opportunity  to be recognized for  their service and                                                                    
it decreased the years of  service requirement for former or                                                                    
retired firefighters and EMTS from  ten years to five years.                                                                    
The cost of the license plate would be $30.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman suggested  that the  license plate  could                                                                    
more easily identify a person as medical personnel.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Holmes appreciated  the bill.  She expressed                                                                    
support for the  bill. She clarified that the  intent of the                                                                    
legislation was  to provide two  official license  plates at                                                                    
the cost of $30.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Klein replied in the affirmative.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson discussed  the fiscal  note from  the                                                                    
Department of  Administration (DOA)  FN1 (ADM).  She relayed                                                                    
that  $3.2 thousand  was appropriated  in  FY 15  and was  a                                                                    
zero note in the out years.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
AMY   ERICKSON,  DIRECTOR,   DIVISION  OF   MOTOR  VEHICLES,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT  OF ADMINISTRATION,  responded to  Representative                                                                    
Holmes'  question regarding  cost.  She  commented that  the                                                                    
legislation would not change the  fees and the bear would be                                                                    
an alternate primary plate.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Holmes  shared   that  people   she  polled                                                                    
preferred  the look  of the  original license  plate calling                                                                    
the design  "retro." She requested that  the department keep                                                                    
the original design.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  MOVED to REPORT CSHB  293(STA) out of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal  note. There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CSHB  293(STA) was  REPORTED  out of  committee  with a  "do                                                                    
pass"  recommendation  and  with  one  previously  published                                                                    
fiscal impact note: FN1 (ADM).                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 324                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
"An Act  relating to  the controlled  substance prescription                                                                    
database."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HB 324 was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:01:16 AM                                                                                                                   
The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 a.m.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 293 Bear plate.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 293
HB 293 Sponsor Statement Finance.docx HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 293
HB 293 Sponsor Statement Finance.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 293
HB293 Alaska DMV List of specialty plates.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 293
HB293 Alaska DMV Specialty Plates Pictures.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 293
CSHB 324 Sponsor.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 324
CSHB 324 Support.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 324
HB 324 Alaska Opioid Prescribing Policies.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 324
CSHB 324-C Sectional.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 324
HB 324 CDC report.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 324
HB 324 Prescription painkiller overdoses.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 324
HB 324 Prudue Pharma support.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 324
HB 324 Sub Abuse AK.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 324
HB293 DMV Alaska specialty plate info for 5 yrs.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 293
HB293 CS-P Support Emails.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 293
HB293 CS (P) Sectional Finance.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 293
HB 328 Opposition Letter.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 328
HB328 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 328
HB328 Supporting Documents-AMTA Fact Sheet 2014.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 328
HB328 Supporting Documents-Email and Letters.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 328
HB328 Supporting Documents-Map of Regulated States.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 328
HB328 Sectional CSHB 328 version N.PDF HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 328
HB 328 Testimony Kyser.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 328
HB 324 NACDS letter.pdf HFIN 4/3/2014 8:30:00 AM
HB 324