Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/11/2003 03:00 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES                                                                         
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                         March 11, 2003                                                                                         
                           3:00 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Peggy Wilson, Chair                                                                                              
Representative Carl Gatto, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Representative Cheryll Heinze                                                                                                   
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Kelly Wolf                                                                                                       
Representative Sharon Cissna                                                                                                    
Representative Mary Kapsner                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 135                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to marital and family therapists."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 135(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 13                                                                                                   
Urging adoption of the Alaska recommendations for implementing                                                                  
the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHJR 13(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HEARING ON THE REORGANIZATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH &                                                                     
SOCIAL SERVICES                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD [See 3:35 p.m. minutes for this date]                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 135                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:MARITAL & FAMILY THERAPISTS                                                                                         
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)WILSON                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/26/03     0307       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
02/26/03     0307       (H)        L&C, HES                                                                                     
03/05/03                (H)        L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                    
03/05/03                (H)        Moved Out of Committee                                                                       
                                   MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                  
03/07/03     0464       (H)        L&C RPT 5DP 1AM                                                                              
03/07/03     0464       (H)        DP: GATTO, CRAWFORD,                                                                         
                                   DAHLSTROM,                                                                                   
03/07/03     0464       (H)        ROKEBERG, ANDERSON; AM: LYNN                                                                 
03/07/03     0464       (H)        FN1: ZERO(CED)                                                                               
03/07/03     0464       (H)        REFERRED TO HES                                                                              
03/11/03                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR 13                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:FEDERAL EDUCATION LAW OF 2001                                                                                       
SPONSOR(S): EDUCATION                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
03/05/03     0415       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
03/05/03     0415       (H)        HES                                                                                          
03/05/03     0415       (H)        REFERRED TO HES                                                                              
03/11/03                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LARRY HOLMAN, Chair                                                                                                             
Board of Marital and Family Therapy                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified via teleconference in support of                                                                 
HB 135 and answered questions from the members.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN ARTH, Division President                                                                                                  
Alaska Association for Marriage and Family Therapy                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in via teleconference support of                                                                 
HB 135 and answered questions from the members.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BILL PLATTE, Licensed Marital and Family Therapist                                                                              
Member, Board of Marital and Family Therapy                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 135 and answered                                                                
questions from the members.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARY FRANCIS, Ph.D., Executive Director                                                                                         
Alaska Council of School Administrators                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support  of HJR 13 on behalf of                                                               
the Alaska Council of School Administrators.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-23, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR PEGGY WILSON called the  House Health, Education and Social                                                             
Services  Standing Committee  meeting  to order  at [3:00  p.m.].                                                               
Representatives Wilson,  Gatto, Wolf, and Seaton  were present at                                                               
the call to  order.  Representatives Heinze,  Cissna, and Kapsner                                                               
arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HB 135-MARITAL & FAMILY THERAPISTS                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  135,  "An  Act relating  to  marital and  family                                                               
therapists."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON  passed the gavel  to Vice  Chair Gatto so  that she                                                               
could present HB 135.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0072                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON, sponsor  of HB 135, informed the  committee that HB                                                               
135  was requested  by the  Alaska Association  for Marriage  and                                                               
Family  Therapy.   The Board  of Marital  and Family  Therapy has                                                               
been in place  for 10 years.  She explained  that the board wants                                                               
to update  its statutory language,  and therefore it  conducted a                                                               
nationwide study  to determine  what changes need  to be  made to                                                               
bring  Alaska's  marital and  family  therapists  up to  national                                                               
standards.  Most of HB 135  is housekeeping, although a few areas                                                               
include  substantial changes.    Chair Wilson  then provided  the                                                               
following sectional analysis.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON explained  that Section 1 adds the  Board of Marital                                                               
and  Family Therapy  to  the  list of  boards  that  are able  to                                                               
receive  state contracts  for treatment,  which is  of particular                                                               
importance for the less populated areas of the state.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0193                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON said Section 2 specifies  that the board may order a                                                               
marital and family  therapist to submit to  examinations in order                                                               
to determine if the therapist is  capable of safe practices.  The                                                               
aforementioned usually takes place if  there has been a complaint                                                               
and probable cause exists.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON  continued with  Section 3,  which changes  the time                                                               
requirement  for  licensure from  three  years  to 1,500  working                                                               
hours, including one-on-one counseling.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON  explained that  Section 4  makes exceptions  to the                                                               
confidentiality rule when  there is a threat of  physical harm to                                                               
an identified victim or when there  is a disclosure by a licensed                                                               
health care professional  leading to a belief  that the therapist                                                               
is  acting in  an  unethical  manner.   The  language change  [in                                                               
Section 4]  is standard  language in  the statutes  pertaining to                                                               
social workers and psychiatrists.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON  told the members  that Section 5, which  includes a                                                               
substantial change, prohibits sexual  misconduct between a client                                                               
and therapist  for two years  after the last treatment,  which is                                                               
standard  statutory language  for  health  care professionals  in                                                               
Alaska.  For social workers, there  can be no sexual contact with                                                               
a client for a lifetime.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0337                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WILSON   continued  with  Section  6,   which  allows  for                                                               
suspension  of  the  license  if  the  examination  discussed  in                                                               
Section 2 is refused.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WILSON said  Section 7  requires that  family and  marital                                                               
therapists  disclose  working  information,   such  as  fees  and                                                               
exceptions to confidentiality.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON told  the members that the last  section, Section 8,                                                               
specifies  that  those  without proper  training  cannot  act  as                                                               
marital and family therapists.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON directed  attention to Section 7 on page  5, line 8.                                                               
She  informed the  committee that  during the  hearing [March  5,                                                               
2003,    House   Labor    and   Commerce    Standing   Committee]                                                               
Representative  Gatto  questioned  whether any  family  therapist                                                               
could  disclose working  information or  whether it  had to  be a                                                               
licensed family therapist.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0426                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  GATTO moved to  adopt an amendment that  would delete                                                               
"for marital and family therapy  services" on page 5, lines 9-10,                                                               
and  that  would  insert  "by   a  licensed  marital  and  family                                                               
therapist".                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0495                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LARRY  HOLMAN,  Chair,  Board  of  Marital  and  Family  Therapy,                                                               
testified in  support of HB  135 and answered questions  from the                                                               
members.   He  asked  the members  to look  at  paragraph (6)  of                                                               
Section 4 on  page 4.  He  explained that if a  client reports to                                                               
the  Board of  Marital and  Family Therapy  that a  mental health                                                               
practitioner  has  done  something unethical  and  unlawful,  the                                                               
board would be able to report  the conduct to the licensing board                                                               
without  being liable  for violating  the confidentiality  law by                                                               
which [the Board of Marital and Family Therapy] is bound.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOLMAN  explained that  HB 135  came about as  a result  of a                                                               
collaboration  between  the  regulatory   board  and  the  Alaska                                                               
Association for Marriage and Family  Therapy.  The board backs HB                                                               
135  because it  provides better  protection for  the public  and                                                               
brings the  Board of Marital  and Family  Therapy up to  the same                                                               
standards as other  mental health boards in  state and nationally                                                               
as well.   Mr. Holman pointed out that some  of the standards are                                                               
crucial due  to the associated  potential for  harm, particularly                                                               
in  the area  of  sexual  misconduct.   Mr.  Holman concluded  by                                                               
saying the board and the association support HB 135.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  GATTO asked  if  Mr.  Holman felt  that  disallowing                                                               
sexual contact  between a  therapist and a  client for  two years                                                               
would be sufficient time.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOLMAN replied that he believes two years is sufficient.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0735                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN ARTH,  Division President, Alaska Association  for Marriage                                                               
and Family  Therapy, testified in  support of  HB 135.   She told                                                               
the   committee   the    association   strongly   supports   this                                                               
legislation,  which   would  bring  professionals   into  clearer                                                               
compliance with other states' ethical standards.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0800                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON renewed Vice  Chair Gatto's motion to adopt                                                               
an amendment  on page 5, lines  9-10.  There being  no objection,                                                               
it was so ordered.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0838                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL  PLATTE,  Licensed  Marital and  Family  Therapist;  Member,                                                               
Board of Marital  and Family Therapy, testified in  support of HB                                                               
135 and offered to answer questions from the committee.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said the committee  was just dealing with a                                                               
bill which  adds clergy  to the categories  that are  required to                                                               
report  child abuse,  neglect, and  sexual misconduct.   He  said                                                               
that  on page  3 of  this  bill it  refers only  to reporting  of                                                               
physical  harm to  intended victims.    He asked  if marital  and                                                               
family therapists are required to report cases of child abuse.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. PLATTE replied yes.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON commented that  child abuse must be covered                                                               
under another statute.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. PLATTE responded that is correct.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR GATTO asked if there  is anyone who is not required to                                                               
report child abuse.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. PLATTE  responded that  he did  not believe so.   He  said he                                                               
believes everyone  has to report child  abuse.  He noted  that in                                                               
some  countries even  a  fellow citizen  is  obligated to  report                                                               
child abuse.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  GATTO announced for  the record  that Representatives                                                               
Cissna and Heinze have joined the meeting.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0979                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON moved to report  HB 135, as amended, out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
zero fiscal notes.   There being no objection,  CSHB 135(HES) was                                                               
reported  from the  House Health,  Education and  Social Services                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
[Vice Chair Gatto returned the gavel to Chair Wilson.]                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HJR 13-FEDERAL EDUCATION LAW OF 2001                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE  JOINT RESOLUTION  NO. 13,  Urging adoption  of the  Alaska                                                               
recommendations for implementing the No  Child Left Behind Act of                                                               
2001.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1044                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO, speaking as the  chair of the House Special                                                               
Committee  on  Education,  the  sponsor   of  HJR  13,  read  the                                                               
following statement:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     We  urge adoption  of  the  Alaska recommendations  for                                                                    
     implementing  the No  Child Left  Behind  Act of  2001.                                                                    
     The No  Child Left Behind  Act [NCLB Act] is  a mammoth                                                                    
     piece of federal legislation  the implications of which                                                                    
     encompass nearly every facet  of the educational system                                                                    
     in  the state  of Alaska.   The  implementation of  the                                                                    
     NCLB Act is  a daunting task for  every state; however,                                                                    
     it is  vital that  the federal Department  of Education                                                                    
     recognize the true uniqueness of Alaska.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The   Alaska   Department   of  Education   and   Early                                                                    
     Development have  been working on  Alaska's application                                                                    
     for two  years and have  submitted a proposal  for peer                                                                    
     review.   It  is important  that Alaska  be allowed  to                                                                    
     develop  a  plan which  works  well  in this  extremely                                                                    
     large and  diverse state that we  live in.  I  ask your                                                                    
     support of HJR  13, which urges prompt  approval of the                                                                    
     Alaska  consolidated  state application  accountability                                                                    
     workbook so that the children  of Alaska may experience                                                                    
     the full  benefits that  the No  Child Left  Behind Act                                                                    
     promises for each and every child.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1116                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER  began  discussion of  Amendment  1,  and                                                               
directed the committee's  attention to page 2, lines  11-14.  She                                                               
inquired  as to  why the  example  uses the  North Slope  Borough                                                               
School  District.   She  expressed  the  desire to  refrain  from                                                               
pointing  to  one  school district.    Therefore,  she  suggested                                                               
deleting  language  beginning on  page  2,  lines 11-14.    Start                                                               
deleting language  beginning with  "; for example,"  and continue                                                               
to the end of line 14 where it ends with a ";", she suggested.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WILSON suggested  just  deleting the  name  of the  school                                                               
district.   She said she  believes the reason  the aforementioned                                                               
language was included was to prove that Alaska is truly unique.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER said  she  see Chair  Wilson's point  and                                                               
agreed to the deletion of the name of the school district.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease from 3:18 p.m. to 3:20 p.m.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1225                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WILSON moved  that the  committee adopt  the following  as                                                               
Amendment 1:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 11                                                                                                            
     Delete "the North Slope Borough School"                                                                                    
     Insert "one"                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 13                                                                                                            
     Delete "the"                                                                                                               
     Insert "this"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 14                                                                                                            
     Delete "North Slope"                                                                                                       
     Insert "school district"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1285                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARY  FRANCIS,  Ph.D.,  Executive  Director,  Alaska  Council  of                                                               
School Administrators, began by  informing the committee that she                                                               
represents  all of  the superintendents,  school principals,  and                                                               
business officials in  the state.  Dr. Francis  said she believes                                                               
HJR  13  is  an  excellent   resolution.    She  noted  that  the                                                               
department has  submitted the  concerns the  State of  Alaska has                                                               
with  regard to  the  implementation  of the  federal  law.   She                                                               
pointed out  that the federal  legislation is difficult  for more                                                               
than just the rural and remote  districts.  For example, she told                                                               
the committee that  the previous president of the  State Board of                                                               
Education [and  Early Development]  is a longtime  teacher, 30-35                                                               
years,  in  the Fairbanks  School  District,  and under  the  new                                                               
guidelines  she  would  not  be  considered  a  highly  qualified                                                               
teacher,  even though  she  has  been recognized  as  one of  the                                                               
finest  teachers in  the state.    Dr. Francis  noted the  Alaska                                                               
Council  of School  Administrators supports  of HJR  13, and  she                                                               
urged its passage.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1377                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE moved to report  HJR 13, as amended, out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.   There  being  no  objection, CSHJR  13(HES)  was                                                               
reported from the House Health, Education and Social Services                                                                   
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief  at-ease at approximately 3:25 p.m. in                                                               
order  for  the committee  to  prepare  for  the hearing  on  the                                                               
reorganization  of the  Department of  Health &  Social Services.                                                               
[For  the hearing  on  the reorganization  of  the Department  of                                                               
Health  & Social  Services, see  the 3:35  p.m. minutes  for this                                                               
date.]                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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