Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/16/1996 03:07 PM HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE April 16, 1996 3:07 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Cynthia Toohey, Co-Chair Representative Con Bunde, Co-Chair Representative Gary Davis Representative Norman Rokeberg Representative Caren Robinson Representative Tom Brice Representative Al Vezey MEMBERS ABSENT None COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE BILL NO. 522 "An Act relating to employer drug and alcohol testing programs." - SUBCOMMITTEE APPOINTED SENATE BILL NO. 134 am "An Act establishing an endowment for the Robert B. Atwood journalism chair at the University of Alaska Anchorage; and providing for an effective date." - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 25 Relating to supporting home schooling and establishing Alaska Home Education Week. - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 50 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to freedom of conscience. - FAILED TO PASS OUT OF COMMITTEE PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 522 SHORT TITLE: EMPLOYER DRUG TESTING PROGRAM SPONSOR(S): LABOR & COMMERCE BY REQUEST JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/19/96 2804 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/19/96 2804 (H) HES, LABOR & COMMERCE, FINANCE 04/16/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: SB 134 SHORT TITLE: ATWOOD CHAIR OF JOURNALISM AT U OF AA SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) KELLY, Halford, Pearce, Leman, Taylor, Rieger, R.Phillips JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/17/95 665 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/17/95 665 (S) HES, FIN 03/27/95 (S) HES AT 10:00 AM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 03/27/95 (S) MINUTE(HES) 04/07/95 (S) HES AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 04/07/95 (S) MINUTE(HES) 04/07/95 914 (S) HES RPT 2DP 2NR 04/07/95 914 (S) FISCAL NOTE (UA) 02/22/96 (S) FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 02/22/96 (S) MINUTE(FIN) 02/23/96 2511 (S) FIN RPT 5DP 2NR 02/23/96 2512 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (S.FIN/UA) 02/26/96 (S) RLS AT 12:45 PM FAHRENKMAP RM 203 02/26/96 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 02/28/96 (S) RLS AT 12:50 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 02/28/96 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 02/29/96 (S) RLS AT 9:00 AM BELTZ ROOM 211 03/11/96 2686 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR AND 1NR 3/11/90 03/11/96 2687 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 03/11/96 2687 (S) AM NO 1 ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 03/11/96 2687 (S) COSPONSOR(S):HALFORD, PEARCE, LEMAN 03/11/96 2687 (S) TAYLOR, RIEGER, PHILLIPS 03/11/96 2687 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 03/11/96 2687 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME SB 134 AM 03/11/96 2687 (S) RETURN TO SECOND FOR AM 2 UNAN CONSENT 03/11/96 2688 (S) AM NO 2 ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 03/11/96 2688 (S) AUTOMATICALLY IN THIRD READING 03/11/96 2688 (S) PASSED Y17 N1 E2 03/11/96 2688 (S) EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE 03/11/96 2688 (S) DUNCAN NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION 03/12/96 2718 (S) RECON TAKEN UP - IN THIRD READING 03/12/96 2719 (S) PASSED ON RECONSIDERATION Y17 N1 E2 03/12/96 2719 (S) EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE 03/12/96 2719 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 03/13/96 3107 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/13/96 3107 (H) HES, FINANCE 04/16/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: SCR 25 SHORT TITLE: ALASKA HOME EDUCATION WEEK SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) MILLER, Halford, R.Phillips, Pearce, Taylor, Leman, Sharp, Frank, Torgerson, Green, Donley JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/12/96 2381 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/12/96 2381 (S) HES 03/13/96 (S) HES AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 03/14/96 2733 (S) HES RPT 2DP 2NR 03/14/96 2733 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DOE) 03/18/96 (S) RLS AT 12:20 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 03/18/96 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 03/25/96 2864 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 3/25/96 03/25/96 2884 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 03/25/96 2884 (S) COSPONSOR(S): HALFORD, PHILLIPS, PEARCE, TAYLOR, LEMAN, SHARP, FRANK TORGERSON, GREEN, DONLEY 03/25/96 2885 (S) PASSED Y20 N- 03/25/96 2886 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 03/26/96 3360 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/26/96 3360 (H) HES 04/16/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HJR 50 SHORT TITLE: FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE - BILL OF RIGHTS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN,Green JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 12/29/95 2357 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/08/96 2357 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/08/96 2358 (H) HES, STA, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 01/10/96 2404 (H) COSPONSOR(S): GREEN 04/02/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 04/02/96 (H) MINUTE(HES) 04/04/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 04/04/96 (H) MINUTE(HES) 04/16/96 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 WITNESS REGISTER GEORGE DOZIER, Legislative Assistant to Representative Pete Kott Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 432 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-3306 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented sponsor statement for HB 522 MATTHEW FAGNANI, President Allvest Laboratories 611 East 12th Avenue Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 274-6662 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 522 LYNN STIMLER, Executive Director American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska P.O. Box 201844 Anchorage, Alaska 99520 Telephone: (907) 258-0044 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to HB 522 AVA GOODMAN, Owner Goodman Builders 1240 Friendly Lane Anchorage, Alaska 99504 Telephone: (907) 333-2410 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 522 HELEN CRAIG 613 DeGroff Street Sitka, Alaska 99835 Telephone: (907) 747-5917 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 522 DWIGHT PERKINS, Special Assistant Office of the Commissioner Department of Labor P.O. Box 21149 Juneau, Alaska 99802-1149 Telephone: (907) 465-2700 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 522 SHERMAN ERNOUF, Legislative Assistant to Senator Tim Kelly Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 101 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-3822 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented sponsor statement for SB 134 MARYLOU BURTON, Director of Statewide Budget University of Alaska Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 463-3086 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 134 am JOY BUNDE 3919 Turnagain, Number 10 Anchorage, Alaska Telephone: (907) 243-5210 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 134 am SHARON CLARK, Legislative Assistant to Senator Mike Miller Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 125 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-4892 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented sponsor statement for SCR 25 REPRESENTATIVE TERRY MARTIN Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 502 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-3783 POSITION STATEMENT: Prime sponsor of HJR 50 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 96-41, SIDE A Number 001 The House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee was called to order by CO-CHAIR CON BUNDE at 3:07 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Bunde, Toohey, Davis, Rokeberg, Brice and Robinson. Members absent were Representative Vezey. He announced the calendar was HB 522, "An Act relating to employer drug and alcohol testing programs"; SB 134 "An Act establishing an endowment for the Robert B. Atwood journalism chair at the University of Alaska Anchorage; and providing for an effective date"; SCR 25, Relating to supporting home schooling and establishing Alaska Home Education Week; and HJR 50, Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to freedom of conscience. HB 522 - EMPLOYER DRUG TESTING PROGRAM Number 130 GEORGE DOZIER, Legislative Assistant to Representative Pete Kott, said HB 522 was sponsored by the House Labor & Commerce Committee and is based on the premise that employers, employees and the general public have a strong interest in workplace safety and productivity. This bill was filed with the intention of promoting productivity and safety by authorizing employers to institute mandatory drug and alcohol testing programs. It is recognized that although employees have certain privacy rights that may be impacted by mandatory alcohol and drug testing, these rights are outweighed by the interest of employers in promoting workplace safety and productivity. This is especially the case where the programs themselves are well advertised, people are aware of them and the testing is done reasonably contemporaneously with the employee's schedule of work hours. MR. DOZIER said HB 522 grants immunity to employers that institute a drug and alcohol testing program. Generally, where the employer acts in good faith based upon the results of a test, the employer would not be subject to civil liability for actions taken against employees. House Bill 522 sets requirements for the programs, principally it is required that the program be articulated in a written policy and published to the employees and prospective employees. It establishes certain standards of confidentiality of results; generally, the results may not be communicated to anyone except the employer or a designated agent of the employer, which would be a person that has been designated as responsible for gathering the results, to the employee and as a result of a court order or subpoena. The written policy must be advertised and published to the employees so they have fair notice. MR. DOZIER stated that HB 522 also establishes certain minimal standards for testing procedures. Already, the federal government and the state of Alaska require approximately 53,000 workers to undergo mandatory drug and alcohol testing. He added that other states are starting to move in this line and as a point of fact, HB 522 was modeled directly on a statute this is now law in Arizona, he believed. Representative Kott, given these trends in the law, believes it is time to get the issue on the table and for dialogue to occur in Alaska. It is recognized that HB 522 is just a first step, a beginning step and as a result of what is presented in testimony, certain adjustments may become desirable. He offered to answer any questions the committee may have. Number 418 MATTHEW FAGNANI, President, Allvest Laboratories, said Allvest Laboratories is a provider of drug and alcohol testing services to more than 1300 Alaskan companies. He said this type of legislation is extremely important to many of those companies. Currently, as Mr. Dozier stated, this legislation is in effect in the state of Utah, which is where it originated from, it is in the state of Florida and most recently, in the state of Arizona where Allvest Laboratories was able to obtain a copy of their legislation and pass it on to Representative Kott. MR. FAGNANI said allowing an employer to be protected from litigation would create an environment that tells Alaskan businesses that Alaska is a state which recognizes that illegal drugs and alcohol are not welcome in the workplace. Drug testing is a workplace safety issue and assists management in improving productivity and job efficiency. In Alaska today, there are more than 53,000 Alaskans that are now part of mandatory federally required drug testing programs. These are industries of aviation, truckers, pipeline-regulated employees and over 1,000 commercial driver license (CDL) holders in the state of Alaska. This represents approximately 20 percent of the state's employed population or 8 percent of the state population. If a person takes into consideration that there are also companies who choose to test, but are not federally mandated to test, the statistics would probably double. For example, many of the major hospitals and ski resorts are testing already. He asked why is this type of legislation necessary? It requires employers to have a written policy. Keeping in mind, that those companies not regulated to test by a federal agency, do not need any type of written policy or procedures that they follow. The federal regulation clearly outlines that companies regulated by the federal Department of Transportation have a written policy. It would require employers to inform employees about their policy, such as what types of tests are required, methods of sample collections, consequences of refusal to test and what happens if an employee tests positive. These are all things not currently made known to employees if the company is not mandated to test by federal regulation because Alaska does not any have any type of statute that requires an employer to communicate that information. This would also allow for standardized collection procedures, which are very important in the collection of these samples, using testing procedures that require an approved or certified lab which utilizes standard cutoff procedures; use of alternative or a different chemical process to confirm those samples that test positive, specifically gas chromatography and mass spectrometry which is the goal standard for the industry; and explain to employees what happens if they test positive. These are all things that should be included in a policy that are not currently there. He noted this legislation is extended to those mandated by federal legislation, and employers that choose to test voluntarily under the non-regulated testing industry. In other words, this would be expanded to those industries that are presently mandated to test. Number 639 MR. FAGNANI said this legislation is also an employee protection bill. He explained that today an employer can use almost any type of method they choose, regardless of scientific principles, the employer can use any type of collection procedures they deem fit, and the employer may not have a policy that informs employees what is required of them. This legislation offers a win/win situation to both employees and employers. By setting state standards for effective workplace drug and alcohol testing, the workplace will be a safer, more productive and more efficient workplace. He urged the committee to pass HB 522. He further added that HB 522 is supported by the support industry group, Alliance, which represents over 340 Alaskan businesses, primarily in the oil field, the state of Alaska Trucking Association, and most recently, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, which just passed a resolution. In addition, he was aware that Representative Kott's office had received over 130 responses from people serviced by Allvest who felt this was an important piece of legislation. Number 770 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY observed that hair had been used to test for a long history of drug abuse and asked Mr. Fagnani how long abuse could be detected through hair. MR. FAGNANI said it depended on the length of the hair in that it goes through the whole duration that an individual has been growing that hair. It was his understanding that hair testing goes in centimeters and each centimeter represents a period of time in a person's life that is recorded. He noted that hair testing is not very prevalent in Alaska; it is primarily used in the banking industry, gold mining industry and casino industry. He added that hair testing is not one of the recommended treatments for workplace drug testing. It does, however, show a much longer window of time. CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said she is very much concerned that we are a very forgiving society and treatment programs are included in contracts for health care, which she believes are valid. She remarked our whole society is permeated with this, and we must allow this treatment to continue. Number 866 CO-CHAIR BUNDE observed that an individual going through drug treatment could get a hair cut and the evidence would go away. MR. FAGNANI said he knew that hair testing was not being done in Alaska at any prevalent rate. As far as rehabilitation is concerned, it is important to keep in mind that this bill is not to keep people from treatment; as a matter of fact, it speaks to treatment. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) comes into effect once a person is rehabilitated. He explained that once a person is rehabilitated for a prior drug problem, that person is now protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act as a disabled American. That has another whole set of provisions which allows an employer to test based on that federal law. That is another personnel policy that human resource persons have available to them. He pointed out that an employee cannot be denied employment because he/she tested positive in the past and has corrected that problem by seeking treatment. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects that American and allows them not to be discriminated against. Number 955 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY recollected there were a number of drugs on the market used to control seizures, depression, and other conditions and asked Mr. Fagnani how those drugs are handled in the drug testing process. MR. FAGNANI stated the drug program is designed to work around an employer's perceived need of what they feel is needed to be tested. Currently, the prevalent drugs in the workplace are limited to five: Marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates and PCP. None of those have anything to do with seizures and any type of medication that is issued by a physician is considered legal drug use and is allowed in the workplace. CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if poppyseeds in a muffin would show up in a drug test. MR. FAGNANI responded that it could show up. Currently, there are discussions in the federal Department of Transportation to raise the screening level to over 3,000 nanograms to eliminate those positive poppyseeds for opiates. Presently, a case would be reviewed by a physician where poppyseeds resulted in a positive test. He reiterated the importance of employer policies because if a person is working for a company not regulated, there may not be a medical review officer or a physician to review the test result and help the employee determine what caused the positive test result. CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if there was a great problem in Alaska? MR. FAGNANI said they see about a 6 percent pre-employment positive rate. These are people who know they have to pass a drug test to get a job. He noted they are only tracking the federally regulated industries currently. He feels that is a pretty high rate. He said once the programs are going and people are into the programs, they see less than 1 percent in the random programs and even less in the post-accident and reasonable cause. With regard to Co-Chair Toohey's question, the Anchorage Daily News just pointed out in the Sunday edition that crack cocaine was the drug of choice on the street, so he felt there was a problem in Alaska, but Alaska was pretty fortunate compared to other states. CO-CHAIR BUNDE remarked it's also the drug for young people who aren't in jobs involved in this program. MR. FAGNANI said that's true, and added that one of the latest reports released by the Partnership for Drug Free America, shows that according to a 1995 survey, marijuana use is on the rise in youth and youth have changed their perception from "marijuana is bad" to now "marijuana is okay." Number 1100 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY advised that mothers of 16 percent of newborn babies tested positive for drugs at the two hospitals in Anchorage. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Mr. Fagnani to explain the references in the employer's policy regarding confidentiality on page 3, lines 29-31. He said, "There's a stipulation here in this prospective statute that there be a statement regarding the confidentiality, but that's merely a statement of what they're going to do with the results of the test. There's no guarantee of confidentiality or is there any direction here about what to do with -- if you find a positive test." MR. FAGNANI said the committee needed to keep in mind that this document could easily be 40 pages long with "to do's", so he thought it needed to be reviewed as a shell and each employer would be given the opportunity to put in what they feel is necessary. His interpretation of "the right of an employee, on the employee's request, to explain in a confidential setting, a positive result;" is for example, an employer wouldn't announce on a factory floor or announce it over the public announcement system that a particular employee had a positive drug test, but would call the employee into a private setting and discuss the new found information. With regard to the statement of the employer's policy regarding confidentiality, he felt the policy needed to say that if a positive test were to occur, an employee would be brought into a private setting to discuss the test results and the options available according to company policy. Number 1199 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG as a follow-up, asked about the disposition of the information after the meeting takes place. MR. FAGNANI said the Recordkeeping Act then comes into play, which requires that drug test results be kept just like medical records. He explained currently, medical records are kept in a separate file away from regular human resource records because more people have access to those records. Medical records on the other hand, are already kept in a separate file in accordance with a federal law, so the drug test results would be part of that file record keeping. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG commented that normally a firm is hired to conduct the tests for a business, so there wouldn't be any doctor/patient relationship that's privileged information under the law. He asked if there was any safeguard other than the federal statute regarding the release or dissemination of this information. MR. FAGNANI clarified that Allvest closed their laboratory several years ago due to liability costs and they now refer everything to a certified laboratory outside Alaska; there are no labs in Alaska doing this work. He went on to explain that the certified laboratory would send the test result either via a secure modem or fax line established between the company and the laboratory, or it would come directly to Allvest and they would advise the company of a forthcoming facsimile message. This is common practice being used today in order to assure confidentiality or that the message was sent and received by the people who need to have knowledge of that information. Number 1300 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said his question actually related to the disposition of the information after it was received by the company and asked if it was kept in a repository of medical reports in a company file. MR. FAGNANI replied that currently the result is kept as long as the employee's personnel records are kept. He added that if Allvest was setting up a program for a company, they would advise the company to follow the federal guidelines already tested by the Supreme Court which means the positive results would be retained for five years, the record would be kept independent from the personnel record and stay in a locked file in a secure area. Number 1345 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS inquired why there was a need for this legislation when he knew of companies that were already doing this. MR. FAGNANI said this bill is not intended to address the right to test, but rather eliminate the risk of a lawsuit based on a disgruntled employee who is part of the 6 percent minority mentioned previously that didn't pass the drug test, and hires an attorney to dispute the drug test because he/she didn't get the job. He told the story of a company that spent upward of five digits on attorney fees in a case that never even went to court - the paper was never even filed to go to court - but the attorney felt that because the company was large enough, they would settle out of court. That's why this legislation is needed. Number 1410 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS noted the bill includes the allowance to test blood and asked how that would stand up constitutionally. MR. FAGNANI said if he was rewriting the legislation, he would remove that language and leave urine as the true method for testing. Urine testing is the recognized method and the standard in the industry; blood is used for an alcohol draw. He noted that hair testing could be left in because it is FDA approved and is a standardized procedure. Number 1443 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON referred to page 3, lines 2-4, and asked how this fits into the federal drug-free workplace program? Also, she was curious why a person whose career was impacted because of a positive test result due to poppyseeds for example, but was truly not impaired on drugs and alcohol, shouldn't have some recourse under this section. MR. FAGNANI said there are two types of federal workplace policies. The Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, which addresses companies with $25,000 or more in federal contracts, must have a drug free workplace statement attesting to a drug free workplace and of course, you really can't attest to it unless you are testing. He further stated with regard to the federal Department of Transportation standards, this type of legislation is not impacted at all because it doesn't affect their policy. If anything, the federal workplace policy goes more in detail as far as what a company will do and sets standards that X, Y and Z will be followed when collections are done. This legislation does not set it out as that strict of a standard; it just indicates that a standardized collection process will be used, which they would attest would be the federal workplace drug collection procedures. He added if anything, this allows the federal employers that are now federal private employers who are testing to be protected, which they are not currently. He noted the company he had referred to earlier was a federally mandated test and even though the person had tested positive twice, he was able to find an attorney to represent him. Regarding the poppyseed issue and ruining someone's life, he commented that Allvest tested over 30,000 samples last year from Alaskans and in Fairbanks there were seven people on one job site that tested positive for poppyseeds in three consecutive days; they haven't had a poppyseed positive test since that time. He pointed out one of the problems with poppyseeds is that it cannot be determined which poppyseed is going to cause a positive test, but it's the green immature poppyseed, not the cooked poppyseed. He said if there is some concern about that, then adding the language that positive opiates must be reviewed by a physician to rule out poppyseeds would be a way to assure that a person was not wrongfully accused of an opiate use. The medical review officer who is a licensed physician, would contact the laboratory and have a copy of the quantitative reading of the gas chromatograph. The gas chromatograph would indicate nanograms and anything less than 3,000 nanograms would be a poppyseed, anything over 3,000 would be a type of opiate family drug. In the six years that Allvest has been testing, they have not had a case where a poppyseed ruined someone's job. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Lynn Stimler to present her testimony from Anchorage. Number 1670 LYNN STIMLER, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska (ACLU), testified the ACLU recognizes this bill as a first step and wished to offer some suggestions. First, the ACLU really supports Section 23.10.620(e) because it will assure uniform applicability. It will give managers the incentive to make sure the tests are conducted properly. She went on to state some of the ACLU's concerns. This Act would permit the adoption of an employer's policy that prohibits all use of alcohol by all employees even during their off duty hours. So, an employer would be protected from firing someone who had a few beers at a softball game where the employer observed them. That may not be the intent of the legislation, but that could happen in application. The ACLU is also concerned about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for the same reasons that were previously mentioned. The ACLU is concerned that a disability under the ADA and someone tested for use of alcohol might be entitled to a reasonable accommodation before receiving any discipline. She referred to Section 23.10.600(b) and said the ACLU feels that imposes an impossibly high burden of proof on the employee. She said the language "knew or clearly should have" and "reckless or malicious disregard for the truth" underline 6 to 8, when looked at in point of fact, an employer could intentionally choose to use a testing facility that did shoddy work and was known to have a high false positive rate and a high rate of contaminating samples. Even so, it would be impossible for the employee to prove that the employer knew that any one particular result was in error because even the worst lab will be right sometimes. She added that most employees don't have enough money after being fired to go out and get their own drug test. She pointed out that Section 23.10.610, page 2, line 20, is unnecessary. Employers are already protected when giving job references as long as they have a good faith belief in the truth of what they say. Other than telling a prospective employer that the employee tested positive for drugs or alcohol, there is no reason why the employer should be allowed to give out this information. Another concern the ACLU has is that because actions for defamation are limited under provisions of the bill, the subject of the defamation - the employee - could have a false positive drug test and then if the person tested positive for marijuana, an employer could disclose that the employee tested positive for cocaine and still be protected from liability. In addition, the legislation appears to leave open the possibility that the disclosure of a false positive could be made intentionally and be protected. She didn't believe this was the intent of the legislation, but she thinks it is a hole that the legislation as written, flies through. Also, the ACLU thinks that 23.10.610 and 23.10.660 contradict each other; the bill would provide for safe (indisc.) of search and seizures. CO-CHAIR BUNDE said it appears that some work is needed on the legislation and the committee will undoubtedly hold it over until Thursday at which time a committee substitute would be introduced in an attempt to address some of the concerns that were raised. He asked her to conclude her testimony. MS. STIMLER said she would fax a line-by-line analysis of the bill from the ACLU for the committee's consideration. Number 1904 AVA GOODMAN, Owner, Goodman Builders, testified that she and her husband operate Goodman Builders and their business has pre- employment testing for their seasonal crew, but for fear of litigation they do not have a random drug screening program. She said since instituting pre-employment testing, their accident and workers' compensation claims have been reduced. The (indisc.) requires that any accident involving company equipment be post- accident tested. In these cases, the random program could have prevented some accidents from occurring at all. This bill before the committee could provide the necessary protection for her and her business, as well as provide security for all employees that their understanding of a drug screen policy is beneficial for them as well. She urged the committee to support HB 522 and take the steps necessary to help all Alaskan entrepreneurs continue to operate their businesses in a safe and successful manner. She thanked the committee for allowing her to testify. Number 1940 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if her company owned or operated any commercial vehicles? MS. GOODMAN said no, they do not employ any commercial driver license holders. They are a company that provides remodel and high quality finishing work. She noted that part of the reason they want to do drug testing is because they want to make sure their employees show up for work. It is a seasonal business and she wasn't implying the construction industry had a high prevalence for drugs, but it was their way of letting employees know they won't tolerate this type of activity. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if she was aware that as of this year, if a company has one commercial vehicle, the entire company has to comply with the federal drug testing program. MS. GOODMAN was aware of that, but their company doesn't operate any heavy equipment; they are strictly a small finishing business whose reputation demands they have high quality employees. Number 1995 HELEN CRAIG testified via teleconference from Sitka that she had a few concerns about HB 522 that she wanted to express to the committee. She said the bill seems to address the issue of drugs and alcohol in the workplace, which is good. However, it needs to be recognized that if a person has a cold or flu, they will not be able to take any type of medication if they intend to work that day. The same thing is true for people with allergies and those who take medication prescribed by doctors. She said that some employers do not recognize this. She noted there are drivers in her workplace that are required to periodic random testing, but everyone in the company gets tested. She suggested there should be differing degrees of medication depending on the type of job. She also suggested inserting on page 7, lines 14 and 15, a listing and the amounts that are not acceptable. She also expressed concern that under this legislation an employer cannot be sued for defamation of character. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Mr. Fagnani if he was aware of any non- prescription, over-the-counter cold medicines that would cause a positive test. MR. FAGNANI said over-the-counter medications do not interfere with the drug test, but this is where cutoff levels are critical. He noted that you fall out of the modern curve when quantitative levels are set in statute. For instance, the federal Department of Transportation just changed the marijuana rate from 100 nanograms to 50 nanograms, which is more sensitive. Allvest found they got one-third more positives by doing that. He said it would be better to state that drug testing levels would meet the federal cutoff levels, which would allow the federal government to change their levels. He commented that the previous speaker may have been referring to the list produced and distributed by Allvest of over- the-counter medications that contain alcohol. Part of the federal requirement for commercial driver license holders and pilots is an abstinence rule before they report to work. The federal government, under the CDL law states that any CDL holder reporting for work to operate a commercial rig cannot consume any alcoholic beverage four hours prior to duty. They did not quantify alcohol; alcohol is alcohol whether it comes in a Nyquil bottle or Scope. He thought that may be the list the previous speaker was referring to. Number 2224 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY offered the example of the young woman who won the gold metal in the Olympics without her asthma medication as a way of staying healthy without consuming medications containing alcohol. Number 2244 DWIGHT PERKINS, Special Assistant, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Labor, said the department had some concern with a couple of sections of HB 522 regarding the employment security. He read the following language for the record: "Section 2 of the bill would amend the Employment Security Act at AS 23.20.379(a) to deny unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to any worker who fails to pass or refuses to take a drug or alcohol test which meets the standards in Sec. 1 of the bill. A worker discharged for this reason would be deemed discharged for misconduct connected with the work. This section would affect all private employment, but would not add any significant cost to the claim adjudication process. It would, however, change the current standards for adjudicating discharge cases where an employee fails or refuses to take a drug test. "Under AS 23.20.379(a), the department has disqualified workers who fail or refuse a test if there is some indication that the worker is impaired or using drugs on the job, or if the hazards of the job make it mandatory that the employer control even off-duty usage. But all off-duty use, even if illegal, is not necessarily misconduct connected with work. MR. PERKINS said it was his understanding that alcohol stays in the system for 72 hours. Mr. Perkins continued reading his statement: "Drug-impairment or using drugs on the job is clearly work-connected misconduct. Many discharge cases, however, involve off-duty use, as shown by a positive drug test. In deciding if off-duty use is work-connected, the department determines whether the drug use had a direct adverse impact on the employer's interest or made the worker unfit to perform the job. "If an employer's rule prohibits off-duty use and is reasonably necessary for safety reasons or required by law, then off-duty use is misconduct, because it adversely affects the employer's interest. Simple off-duty use with no impairment on the job and no other adverse affect on the employer's interest is not currently treated as work-connected misconduct. TAPE 96-41, SIDE B Number 001 MR. PERKINS continued reading his statement: "The bill would impose a blanket disqualification on all employees, regardless of the conditions of the work or the employer's interest in regulating off-duty conduct. It would disqualify workers in industries and occupations in which their off-duty conduct did not pose any significant risk to their fellow workers or their employer's interest. In fact, one of the standards for the testing procedure is that all employees are subjected to the same test, regardless of job duties. The bill blurs the distinction between on-duty and off-duty behavior and does not allow the department to determine whether the behavior actually harmed the employer's interest. "Section 3 of the bill adds the same `fail or refuse' language to the UI extended benefits provision in AS 23.20.406(h). This section is redundant. It is unnecessary to include any misconduct disqualification standards in AS 23.20.406(h), because it already disqualifies any extended benefit claimant who was previously disqualified under AS 23.20.379. The language in Sec. 2 of the bill is sufficient to insure the reach of the disqualification to both regular and extended benefit claimants." Number 061 MR. PERKINS said the department's suggestion to help make this a better bill would be to delete Sections 2 and 3. He offered to answer any questions from the committee and announced that Ron Torgerson from the Department of Labor was also available for any technical questions. CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he was assigning this bill to a subcommittee comprised of Co-Chair Toohey, Representative Kott, Mr. Perkins and Mr. Fagnani to craft a committee substitute that could be brought before the full committee on Thursday, April 18. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Mr. Perkins if the department was concerned about a legal standard or other standards, because Representative Rokeberg deduced from his testimony that Commissioner Cashen condones off-duty drug use and did not want to become involved in looking into that or any ripple effect it could have. MR. PERKINS assured Representative Rokeberg that Commissioner Cashen does not condone the use of illegal drugs, but the concern is are we stepping beyond the threshold of allowing an individual who employs another individual to be able to manage the employee's weekends whether it is drinking beer or using illegal drug substances. CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said she also had a concern with this; an illegal behavior is an illegal behavior whether it's heroin use, cocaine use, sexual abuse of a minor or rape - all are illegal and not okay to do on a weekend. CO-CHAIR BUNDE said while he doesn't condone illegal drug use, he didn't think it was appropriate to write into legislation that enforcement of that activity is something an employer should do. He announced the committee would have a committee substitute on Thursday. SB 134 am - ATWOOD CHAIR OF JOURNALISM AT U OF AA Number 220 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced the next order of business was SB 134 amended. He asked Sherman Ernouf to present the bill. Number 234 SHERMAN ERNOUF, Legislative Assistant to Senator Tim Kelly, said SB 134 acknowledges Bob Atwood's contributions to the state of Alaska, which everyone knows his contributions to the community and the state are immense. Senate Bill 134 honors Bob Atwood by establishing an endowment for the Robert Atwood journalism chair at the University of Alaska Anchorage. This chair is nationally recognized and has been in existence for the past 15 years, due in part by generous contributions by Mr. Atwood, himself. In fact, Mr. Atwood's contributions to date total in excess of $1 million and SB 134 would establish an endowment or perpetual trust which is basically a mechanism set up so that public and private entities could match contributions made by Mr. Atwood to permanently fund this chair. He commented this bill did have a fiscal note on the Senate side, in which the state would have matched Mr. Atwood's contributions to fund the chair, but it was stripped. Even though the bill has been stripped of its fiscal impact, placing this in statute would allow entities to put money into the trust or the legislature to appropriate funds at some time in the future, if so desired. He offered to answer any questions from committee members. CO-CHAIR BUNDE surmised this was an empty vessel waiting to be fulfilled. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked why a statute was needed to establish an endowment at the university? MR. ERNOUF said it was his understanding that it wasn't needed to establish an endowment, but it is needed so that it is a legally recognized endowment that at some point the legislature, other public entities or other private entities could donate. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY commented the state has trust laws that accomplish this and he knew the university had a program for establishing endowments, trusts and scholarships. He inquired what the advantage would be to place this in statute. MR. ERNOUF pointed out he was not a trust attorney, but he thought what happened was just as Co-Chair Bunde said, there was a vessel that was full of cargo, but it was stripped of all its money. If this is put in statute now, the state could appropriate money to the endowment at any point in the future. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if his assumption was correct that at one time there was money that went with this bill? MR. ERNOUF responded affirmatively. Number 370 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS commented it would appear from the discussion that the university would be utilizing these funds. He asked if there would ever need to be annual legislative approval for program receipts. Number 389 MARYLOU BURTON, Director of Statewide Budget, University of Alaska, said in response to Representative Davis' question, they would need an annual appropriation for university receipts, which would be entered through the normal budget process. At this point in time, she thought they would have sufficient authority in their FY 97 budget, if these funds were to materialize. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY commented the university currently has endowments and inquired if they come to the legislature for authorization to spend that money. MS. BURTON responded no. She thought Representative Vezey's point was valid in that the legislation per se is not necessary for the university to continue the program they currently have. The intent is to focus attention on the chair and to leave the door open for opportunities. Number 446 JOY BUNDE testified in favor of SB 134 amended. She obtained her journalism degree at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and during that course she participated in the Atwood classes. Based on her experience, she felt the endowment allowed the university to bring working journalists who excelled in their fields into the journalism department. She thought the ideas brought into the classroom by these professors were filled with real-life experiences, fresh and on the competitive edge, unlike the stale, outdated material some professors use to teach students about this rapidly changing business. She concluded that this endowment greatly benefits the state by providing graduates who are qualified to go to work in local communities. Number 503 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if there were any questions or additional individuals to testify. Hearing none, he closed public testimony on SB 134 amended. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG commented he was first personally acquainted with Mr. Atwood in the early 1950s and has had an acquaintance with him since. He made a motion to pass SB 134 am with accompanying fiscal notes and individual recommendations. Hearing no objection, it was so ordered. SCR 25 - ALASKA HOME EDUCATION WEEK Number 546 SHARON CLARK, Legislative Assistant to Senator Mike Miller, read the following sponsor statement: "I would like to thank the committee for allowing me to introduce Senate Concurrent Resolution 25, which would recognize and support home schooling and establish Alaska Home Education Week. "In 1987 the Alaska Private and Home Education Association (APHEA) was founded to represent home educators throughout the state and to promote excellence in private sector home education. Each year the association has held annual conventions and promoted the development of two local support networks for home educators throughout Alaska. In addition, the association has sponsored public information seminars, worked to protect parents' rights to home educate their children, and cooperated with state education officials to ensure a broad range of educational choices for Alaska families. Currently, the association has more than 300 (583 as of today) member families, and it is affiliated with the National Center for Home Education. "In 1993 Governor Hickel issued a Proclamation recognizing the contributions of home educators to Alaska society, initiating a process whereby the Alaska legislature can also recognize this important segment of Alaska's educational infrastructure. "I would further like to recognize this valuable and important group and ask your support of SCR 25. This resolution would request the Governor to take whatever steps are necessary to direct the Department of Education and all other pertinent educational agencies not to unnecessarily interfere with parents exercising their right to home school their children and to establish the week of October 13-19, 1996, as Alaska Home Education Week. "This resolution has a zero fiscal note." MS. CLARK said the Department of Education has no position on this resolution, but is not opposed to it. From a personal viewpoint, Senator Miller is an advocate of home schooling. He and his wife, Susan, have taught their two daughters for seven years. She directed the committee's attention to the letters of support contained in the committee packet and distributed a memorandum from the Department of Education. CO-CHAIR TOOHEY remarked that her first child was a home schooler, however, her second child would not have been because he'd still be in school at the age of 32. The point is that it depends on the child and the willingness of the parent to accept the responsibility. She wholeheartedly supported the Resolution. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if there were any questions of Ms. Clark. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the Alaska Private and Home Education Association had any statistics available that indicated how many home school children are considered enrolled in the public school system? MS. CLARK said not that she was aware of, but offered to pursue it. Number 738 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said as he understood it, the Matanuska-Susitna School District has a home school program and those students are counted as enrolles. There were some questions raised about the legitimacy of that when it comes to the foundation formula. As far as he knew, the vast majority of the others are considered central correspondence students and not considered as enrolles for the foundation formula calculation. MS. CLARK pointed out the memorandum from the Department of Education she had just distributed more or less sets out the criteria for home schooling and may address the question. Number 778 CO-CHAIR BUNDE closed public testimony and inquired as to the wish of the committee. Number 782 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY made a motion to move SCR 25 to the next committee of referral with zero fiscal notes. Hearing no objection, it was so ordered. HJR 50 - FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE - BILL OF RIGHTS Number 828 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG commented this bill had more referrals than a hooker in Subic Bay. REPRESENTATIVE TERRY MARTIN, Sponsor of HJR 50, said people may be wondering why there was a need to address the constitutional right of freedom of conscience. Ironically, Alaska is one of the few state constitutions that does not guarantee freedom of conscience. Most constitutions from the very beginning of the revolution (indisc.) England, especially the Mayflower Compact was very clear that freedom of conscience was a higher inalienable right than freedom of religion. The freedom of conscience, the freedom of religion and the exercise thereof can be found in most constitutions. Even though Alaska is one of the newer states, the element of the freedom of conscience was not included in the state constitution. Members of the Constitutional Convention in 1955- 1956 have said they just did not think of it because they thought it was a basic right and thought freedom of religion was the priority. He commented that Russia under Stalin, guaranteed freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, but people were not free to exercise either one. REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said it is important today because of a couple of things that have happened in Alaska. About five years ago, a bill was introduced which basically stated that freedom of conscience would not be used as a way of not providing services to people that want medical help in different aspects of life. More recently, there have been two judges who would not force a physician or a pharmacist to give drugs to individuals who wanted to terminate their life. The drugs had to be prescribed by a doctor or a hospital. There were individuals who felt their conscience would not allow this, especially since an individual could probably take their life any time they wished. He noted that for a long time in America we have allowed freedom of conscience as a reason for not participating in wars, but an individual could do something else to help their Nation such as public health service. He noted there were a number of medics who were conscientious objectors in the Marine Corps that went to the front line and worked strictly in medical care. REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said he did not believe this was a light matter; he felt it was superior to freedom of religion and a person's conscience allows them to choose a religion or no religion. He noted there were a lot of people with no religious affiliation but are very moral in their behavior and it is their conscience that guides them. He believes it is important to insert this in the state constitution as an inalienable right. Number 1054 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he thought that medics in the Marine Corps were Navy corpsmen. REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said most of them were Navy/Marine Corps, but there were also Marines that were medics. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked what the effect of this would be if there was a reinstitution of the national draft? REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said, "You can have your national draft, but they honor the freedom of conscience of the individuals who then had the choice. A lot of people had the choice of the peace corps rather than the VietNam War or the Korean War. So, there are many options in serving your country if society said that this was important that everyone serves their country some way, we're not going to force you on the front lines where you kill someone as a conscientious objector, but you can help your country in many other ways." REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the catalyst of this happened to be a case that came out of the Palmer District Court regarding physicians in the Matanuska Valley hospital? REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said that was something that has come up twice and it is currently in the courts. The judge ruled about a year and a half ago that providers of medical services cannot use conscientious objection as a reason for refusing abortion services. He said there is an Alaskan law, but if a judge rules that the law is unconstitutional, the next step is to make this an unalienable right. There are a lot of nurses in the Palmer hospital who do not want to be forced into providing or participating in abortion services. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the decision was based on constitutional grounds? REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said he didn't know for sure, but he knew the attorneys were fighting it based on constitutional inalienable rights. He said they bring up the law, but laws can be made one day and changed later by another legislature. However, once an inalienable right is put in the constitution it is a lot harder to change. He added it's a higher level that the courts will recognize rather than state statute. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked what other states have this in their state constitution. REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said Massachusetts, Minnesota, plus others. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS noted the Alaska Constitution speaks to freedom of religion and many of the examples provided for the committee are under freedom of religion and explain in more detail what that is; that's where their freedom of conscience comes in. He said it would appear that if there was a dissertation on the shaping of the Alaska Constitution, freedom of conscience could very well possibly fit in under the freedom of religion section. REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said yes, and that's a long drawn out process. He said that one of the first freedoms that individuals were fighting for once they began thinking of democracy was the freedom of conscience. The Revolution writings in the age of enlightment mostly talk about freedom of conscience first. He noted that part of the reason England busted up was because they had only one religion and there were segments of the population that did not believe that way. Consequently, they left and went to Holland or other countries, and from Holland they came to America. Number 1354 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if there was any other state that had freedom of conscience as a separate item in their constitution. REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said there were a number states. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked if Representative Martin agreed that it could already be a part of our constitution, but just not expressly indicated. REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said it could be. He said as it is now, it is in law and it has been upheld at least three different times that freedom on conscience in the law would be recognized. Now we see that being challenged by the courts and by the legislators, themselves in the past. Mostly, as Judge Fabe (indisc.) said that because medical people (doctors and hospitals) accept federal and state monies, they must provide services for the individuals. He said, "Palmer was the first one that everyone seemed to be picking on, although the bigger hospitals don't provide it either; that's where the challenge was and it was the nurses more than anything else. It's not that they cannot get nurses; they have been able to get nurses from other areas when in this case, abortion services were required. Then the judge changed her opinion and said that we did not mean the person directly responsible, but anyone who assists and it's the nurses who have to assist and they don't want to. They are fighting this on freedom of conscience." He commented he had introduced this bill before that incident. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY was curious as to why Representative Martin thought the problem couldn't be addressed by statute rather than constitutional amendment. REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said because right now it is being challenged by the judge, herself. Number 1522 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said any hospital that accepts federal funds must perform what is deemed legal. Speaking as a nurse, she said there has never been a time when a nurse has been asked to perform a duty, such as an abortion or be part of an abortion clinic unless the nurse wants to be. That decision is respected by the hospitals, doctors and nurses. The Palmer Hospital will respect the nurses' wishes not to participate in abortions if that is their choice. The hospital will have to get other nurses, but there are many nurses who believe it is a woman's right to have an abortion. REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said, "We did bring in the case that did go (indisc.) the attorneys at law who are defending the nurse and hospital on that abortion case by Judge Fabe, and they do talk about that the law evidently used to be upheld and most judges in the past did not go beyond that; that the law protected the nurses rights of freedom of conscience. Now, we see that because of federal and state monies as Judge Fabe says, they cannot use that as a reason for refusing to provide service." He commented the latest development in the Lower 48 is that judges are refusing to tell a doctor or a even pharmacist in a couple of cases that they will provide the prescription to terminate someone's life. Number 1686 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said, "Given that there's a high level of sensitivity, I guess, towards the ideas that you're talking about with a conscientious objection, and given that what we've seen in Montana with the Freemen Movement and that type of stuff, where people feel that their objections to rule under a sovereign state is basically saying that they're not party to those laws, I would see this as basically validating their actions and allowing them to ...Well, let's put it in very basic terms, BP, Exxon and ARCO say, you know, I conscientiously object to paying taxes any longer. According to this, although you do say individual and they might be considered something else, how is that going to work into this? How do we deal with the idea of society, and being a member of that society and being required to act within certain parameters, if we're going to participate in that society versus, you know just basically willy nilly going off spinning out into some type of void claiming conscientious objection." REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said this is the thing that is always the challenge through an open society like ours that you will constantly come into one person's feeling that his/her conscience allows them to terminate the life of their child. He said the next step is when you come into conflict with another individual's rights. He said, "Your right to freedom to swing your hands and your arms ends at my nose." REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said that is not the issue he was raising. The issue being raised is as a member of society, there are certain rules that we all have to follow. There are only two things guaranteed in this life: Taxes and death. He questioned as a property taxpayer of a municipal ordinance, could he be granted immunity from prosecution under the passage of this resolution if he did not pay property taxes. In other words, he conscientiously objects to the concept of property taxes and refuses to pay them. He noted that's what this legislation says. REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN noted there have been many people throughout the history of America that have refused to pay taxes or participate in government. There are society limitations on what one's individual conscience can be, especially in relation to depriving another individual of their rights and freedom to talk and sing, among other things; also, of how an individual participates within society itself. That is why we have courts. The courts say it is evenly applied to all citizens to pay for services that government offers. You have a right to argue with local government that the tax is too high or too low, etc. REPRESENTATIVE BRICE interjected that Section 25 of HJR 25 specifically grants him the right not to pay those taxes. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON noted that much of the discussion had centered on medical procedures and she was curious about a situation where there could be one doctor and one nurse in a rural area, and someone's life is dependent upon those two individuals, yet one of those individuals does not believe in that procedure. She asked if it was Representative Martin's belief that one of those people could make the decision not to perform a lifesaving procedure because they don't agree with the procedure? REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN said this is what every doctor and nurse goes through all the time. He noted that as time goes on more and more hospitals will choose to specialize in certain areas such as death with dignity and there will be doctors, nurses and other providers who will be allowed to give those prescriptions. That is a conscience decision. Most individuals in Juneau go to Tacoma for abortion services. He didn't know if it was the choice of the hospital or the doctors in Juneau not to perform that procedure. He didn't know how it was worked out with the individuals in the smaller communities. TAPE 96-42, SIDE A Number 001 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he was not anxious to address constitutional amendments without a lot of study and discussion, but noted there were a number of committee referrals. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS believed the comments about the Freemen were good as they relate to this issue and he personally felt this could open up pandora's box. In his opinion, the founders of the state Constitution were right in phrasing it like they did. REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN thanked the committee for hearing this bill. He commented this was the first time in six or eight years that a committee even had courage enough to bring it up for discussion. Number 119 CO-CHAIR BUNDE closed public testimony. He asked for the wish of the committee. Number 127 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY made a motion to move HJR 50 from committee with individual recommendations. Co-Chair Toohey objected. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS noted that he would vote to move HJR 50 out of committee only because it generates a lot of interesting and important discussion. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked for a roll call vote. Voting in favor of the motion were Representatives Davis, Vezey and Bunde. Voting against the motion were Representatives Brice, Robinson and Toohey. REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN asked if the committee would reconsider the motion when Representative Rokeberg returned. CO-CHAIR BUNDE said Representative Martin could discuss it with Representative Rokeberg and if he cared to bring it up for reconsideration, Co-chair Bunde would entertain the motion. ADJOURNMENT CO-CHAIR BUNDE adjourned the meeting of the House Health, Education and Social Services Committee at 4:43 p.m.