Legislature(2007 - 2008)CAPITOL 17

03/21/2007 03:00 PM LABOR & COMMERCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 168 LAND TRANSFERS ALASKA RR & DOTPF TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
*+ HB 71 LICENSING RADIOLOGIC TECHNICIANS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 28 POWER SOURCE DISCLOSURE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 28(L&C) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                         
                         March 21, 2007                                                                                         
                           3:04 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kurt Olson, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Mark Neuman, Vice Chair                                                                                          
Representative Carl Gatto                                                                                                       
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux                                                                                                 
Representative Jay Ramras                                                                                                       
Representative Robert L. "Bob" Buch                                                                                             
Representative Berta Gardner                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 168                                                                                                              
"An Act authorizing two exchanges of land between the Alaska                                                                    
Railroad Corporation and the Department of Transportation and                                                                   
Public Facilities; and providing for an effective date."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 168 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 28                                                                                                               
"An Act requiring retail suppliers of electricity to disclose                                                                   
sources of electricity to consumers."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 28(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 71                                                                                                               
"An Act requiring licensure of occupations relating to                                                                          
radiologic technology, radiation therapy, and nuclear medicine                                                                  
technology; and providing for an effective date."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 168                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LAND TRANSFERS ALASKA RR & DOTPF                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): TRANSPORTATION                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
02/28/07       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/28/07       (H)       TRA, L&C, FIN                                                                                          
03/01/07       (H)       TRA AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
03/01/07       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/06/07       (H)       TRA AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
03/06/07       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
03/06/07       (H)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
03/07/07       (H)       TRA RPT 5DP                                                                                            
03/07/07       (H)       DP:    FAIRCLOUGH,   JOHNSON,    SALMON,                                                               
                        DOOGAN, JOHANSEN                                                                                        
03/21/07       (H)       L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  28                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: POWER SOURCE DISCLOSURE                                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) RAMRAS                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
01/16/07       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/5/07                                                                                
01/16/07       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/16/07       (H)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
02/19/07       (H)       L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
02/19/07       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/19/07       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/16/07       (H)       L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
03/16/07       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/21/07       (H)       L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  71                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LICENSING RADIOLOGIC TECHNICIANS                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KAWASAKI                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
01/16/07       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/5/07                                                                                
01/16/07       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/16/07       (H)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
03/21/07       (H)       L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DAVID SCOTT, Staff                                                                                                              
to Representative Kyle Johansen                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 168 on behalf of                                                                              
Representative Johansen, sponsor.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
FRANCES ZIMMERMAN, Right of Way Agent                                                                                           
Right of Way Section                                                                                                            
Central Region                                                                                                                  
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOTPF)                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during hearing on HB                                                                    
168.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BARBARA COTTING, Staff                                                                                                          
to Representative Ramras                                                                                                        
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 28 on behalf of Representative                                                                
Ramras, sponsor.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
JAMES KEEN, Chief/Engineering                                                                                                   
Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA)                                                                                           
Department of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development                                                                       
(DCCED)                                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during hearing on HB 28.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT KAWASAKI                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 71.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CLYDE PEARCE, Radiological Health Specialist (RHS);                                                                             
Chief                                                                                                                           
Radiological Health Program                                                                                                     
Laboratories Section                                                                                                            
Division of Public Health                                                                                                       
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during hearing on HB 71.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DONNA ROFSHOLM, Radiologic Technician;                                                                                          
Chair                                                                                                                           
Legislative Committee                                                                                                           
Alaska Society of Radiological Technologists (AKSRT)                                                                            
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during hearing on HB 71.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
RICK URION, Director                                                                                                            
Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing                                                                  
Department of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development                                                                       
(DCCED)                                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during hearing on HB 71.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KURT  OLSON called  the House  Labor and  Commerce Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order at  3:04:57  PM.    Representatives                                                             
Gatto,  Buch, Gardner,  and Olson  were  present at  the call  to                                                               
order.   Representatives  LeDoux, Ramras,  and Neuman  arrived as                                                               
the meeting was in progress.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 168-LAND TRANSFERS ALASKA RR & DOTPF                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:05:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON announced  that the first order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 168,  "An Act authorizing  two exchanges  of land                                                               
between  the Alaska  Railroad Corporation  and the  Department of                                                               
Transportation  and  Public  Facilities;  and  providing  for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DAVID SCOTT, Staff to Representative  Kyle Johansen, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  sponsor,  explained  that  HB  168  authorizes  two                                                               
exchanges of land between the  Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC)                                                               
and  the   Department  of  Transportation  &   Public  Facilities                                                               
(DOTPF).  This  would accommodate two DOTPF projects:   the Parks                                                               
Highway  Improvement  Project  and  the  Fairbanks  International                                                               
Airport Heavy Aircraft Cargo Apron.   Section 1 of HB 168 applies                                                               
to  the  Parks  Highway  Improvement  Project,  while  Section  2                                                               
applies  to the  Fairbanks International  Airport Heavy  Aircraft                                                               
Cargo   Apron.     He  explained   that  AS   42.40.285  requires                                                               
legislative approval for the ARRC  to "exchange, donate, sell, or                                                               
otherwise convey  its entire  interest in land".   He  noted that                                                               
representatives from  the AARC and  the DOTPF would  be available                                                               
to answer any questions.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:07:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GARDNER   commented    that   the   bill   seems                                                               
straightforward and asked whether there has been any objection.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCOTT replied no.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:08:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  moved to report  HB 168 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:08:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO objected for  discussion purposes.  He asked                                                               
if the railroad in Wasilla was previously relocated.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCOTT replied yes.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  asked for clarification  as to what  HB 168                                                               
would do.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:09:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FRANCES  ZIMMERMAN, Right  of Way  Agent, Right  of Way  Section,                                                               
Central Region, Department of  Transportation & Public Facilities                                                               
(DOTPF), agreed that  the tracks were relocated as a  part of the                                                               
Parks Highway Improvement Project.   She explained that HB 168 is                                                               
a  title  transfer,  which  the  ARRC is  unable  to  do  without                                                               
legislative action.   In response to an  additional question, she                                                               
stated   that   the   DOTPF  normally   enters   into   temporary                                                               
construction  permits   in  order   to  move  forward   with  the                                                               
construction of  the projects.   Timelines  rarely allow  for the                                                               
required legislation to pass prior to commencing the project.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO removed his objection.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON   noted  that  there   was  no   further  objection.                                                               
Therefore, HB 168 was reported  from the House Labor and Commerce                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 3:11 PM to 3:12 PM.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB  28-POWER SOURCE DISCLOSURE                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:12:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON  announced that the  next order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  28,  "An  Act  requiring  retail  suppliers  of                                                               
electricity to disclose sources of electricity to consumers."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:13:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  made a  motion to  adopt CSHB  28, Version                                                               
25-LS0189\E,  Kane,  2/26/07, as  the  working  document.   There                                                               
being no objection, Version E was before the committee.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:13:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BARBARA  COTTING, Staff  to Representative  Ramras, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, sponsor, explained that  Version E addresses several                                                               
concerns  brought  up  during  the  previous  committee  hearing.                                                               
Version  E  removes  Section  2,   which  Legislative  Legal  and                                                               
Research Services  found to be  unnecessary, as this  was covered                                                               
in  other sections  of the  bill.   Additionally,  Section 5  was                                                               
removed, which  allows utilities  grossing less-than  $50,000 per                                                               
year to remain exempt from the reporting requirements.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER asked  if  the  Regulatory Commission  of                                                               
Alaska (RCA) holds a position on HB 168.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:15:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAMES  KEEN, Chief/Engineering,  Regulatory Commission  of Alaska                                                               
(RCA), Department of Commerce,  Community, & Economic Development                                                               
(DCCED), replied  that the RCA does  not have a position,  but is                                                               
happy  with the  changes  made  by Version  E.    He stated  that                                                               
Section  5 of  the original  bill  would have  been difficult  to                                                               
enforce; however,  the remainder of  the bill can  be implemented                                                               
through regulations.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN asked  whether utility companies approached                                                               
the sponsor to request this legislation.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:15:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAMRAS explained  that  he  received his  monthly                                                               
statement  from  a  rental  unit he  owns  in  California,  which                                                               
included  a power  disclosure form.   He  felt this  would be  of                                                               
interest  to Alaskans.   He  went on  to say  that in  Fairbanks,                                                               
consumers have  the option  of purchasing  renewable energy  at a                                                               
higher rate per kilowatt.  He  opined that this is an inexpensive                                                               
way for  consumers to  increase awareness  of the  energy source.                                                               
He  stated that  he  was not  approached by  any  utilities.   He                                                               
pointed  out that  the  only resistance  was  from Golden  Valley                                                               
Electric Association (GVEA).   The GVEA was  under the impression                                                               
that  the disclosure  would be  monthly; however,  since it  is a                                                               
yearly disclosure,  this resistance has dissipated.   In response                                                               
to a question  from Representative Gatto, he  clarified that GVEA                                                               
offers  a  program for  consumers  to  choose alternative  energy                                                               
sources.     The  power  disclosure   statement  is   offered  in                                                               
California.  Both of these  programs resulted in the introduction                                                               
of HB 168.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:19:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   inquired  as  to  what   the  disclosure                                                               
statement would cost the utilities.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS  replied that  he receives  many enclosures                                                               
each  year from  GVEA.   When questioned,  GVEA stated  that this                                                               
would not  be a high  cost to the company.   He opined  that this                                                               
would not  be any  different from  the enclosures  currently sent                                                               
out.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  noted that the  bill does not  specify how                                                               
this  information  should be  disclosed.    He opined  that  most                                                               
utilities are proud of the alternative energy programs offered.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAMRAS   agreed.    He  pointed   out  that  this                                                               
information  could be  included in  the utility's  annual report,                                                               
although  many individuals  do not  read  this.   He opined  that                                                               
including  this   information  in   a  monthly   statement  would                                                               
encourage consumers to take a closer look.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   NEUMAN  opined   that  this   would  not   be  a                                                               
significant cost to  the utility, and therefore should  not be an                                                               
issue.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  stated that  this is an  intriguing idea,                                                               
and  "potentially very  powerful."   She  said that  the lack  of                                                               
testimony from the utilities suggests  that this is not an issue.                                                               
She  stated that  this information  may  simply be  printed on  a                                                               
bill,  and thus  may not  require an  additional piece  of paper.                                                               
She then stated that this is  "pretty simple," adding that she is                                                               
ready to support HB 28.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:23:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN  moved  to  report CSHB  28,  Version  25-                                                               
LS0189\E,  Kane,  2/26/07,  out   of  committee  with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no objection, CSHB 28(L&C) was  reported from the House Labor and                                                               
Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 3:23 PM to 3:25 PM.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB  71-LICENSING RADIOLOGIC TECHNICIANS                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:25:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON announced  that the final order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 71,  "An Act  requiring licensure  of occupations                                                               
relating  to   radiologic  technology,  radiation   therapy,  and                                                               
nuclear  medicine  technology;  and providing  for  an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SCOTT   KAWASAKI,  Alaska   State   Legislature,                                                               
sponsor, explained  that currently, radiologic  technologists are                                                               
not required  to be licensed.   He noted that House  Bill 150 was                                                               
introduced during a previous legislative  session to address this                                                               
issue.   Several changes  were made  to the  aforementioned bill,                                                               
resulting  in  HB  71.    This  bill  would  license  occupations                                                               
relating  to  radiologic  technologists, radiation  therapy,  and                                                               
nuclear medicine technology.  He  stated that medical patients in                                                               
Juneau have received radiation high  above normal levels, and the                                                               
state is  currently investigating Bartlett Regional  Hospital for                                                               
issues  involving radiologic  technologists and  routine exposure                                                               
to patients.  This information will  be included in a report.  He                                                               
shared his hope  that the members would be able  to view this "as                                                               
further reason  for licensing  [radiologic technologists]  in the                                                               
state of  Alaska."  He  stated that this investigation  will also                                                               
reveal  that radiologic  technologists fail  to properly  protect                                                               
themselves   and   patients    when   administering   radioactive                                                               
materials.  He explained that HB  71 ensures that a certain level                                                               
of  expertise is  maintained by  radiologic technologists.   This                                                               
will allow  the public to  be confident regarding  the competency                                                               
of  the radiologic  technologist.   Regarding  small clinics,  he                                                               
stated  that   the  Alaska  State   Hospital  and   Nursing  Home                                                               
Association   (ASHNA)  and   Southeast  Alaska   Regional  Health                                                               
Consortium  (SEARHC)   have  both  stated  support   for  HB  71.                                                               
Referring to a program offered  in Fairbanks, he stated that many                                                               
radiologic  technologists  are  graduating with  credentials  and                                                               
living in rural  areas.  He noted that HB  71 contains exemptions                                                               
for   individuals  such   as  nurse   practitioners,  physician's                                                               
assistants, and  medical doctors.   He shared his belief  that HB                                                               
71 will  address concerns regarding radiologic  technologists and                                                               
protect the public.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:29:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CLYDE  PEARCE,  Radiological   Health  Specialist  (RHS);  Chief,                                                               
Radiological  Health Program,  Laboratories Section,  Division of                                                               
Public Health,  Department of Health and  Social Services (DHSS),                                                               
began   by  explaining   that   he   conducts  radiation   safety                                                               
inspections throughout  the state  for both  the State  of Alaska                                                               
and  for the  federal government.   He  said that  the DHSS  does                                                               
support HB 71.   The size of  the problem is not  known, as there                                                               
is  no registration  requirement  for  individuals operating  the                                                               
equipment.    However,  the  DHSS  is aware  of  those  who  have                                                               
received formal training and are  nationally certified.  Based on                                                               
inspections  around the  state,  the department  believes that  a                                                               
similar  number  of  individuals   are  operating  the  equipment                                                               
without formal  training.   This number is  estimated to  be 600-                                                               
700.  The DHSS is also  concerned with meeting the needs of areas                                                               
with limited resources.   He expressed hope  that the legislature                                                               
can  strike   a  balance  between   better  protection   and  not                                                               
overburdening the small providers.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:32:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER referring  to  a letter  from Mr.  Pearce                                                               
dated January 22,  2007, noted that there  are concerns involving                                                               
inappropriate  use of  equipment, in  addition to  malfunctioning                                                               
equipment.   She inquired  as to  whether the  proposed licensing                                                               
procedure would address these types of problems.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PEARCE  replied   that  the  bill  would   address  a  large                                                               
proportion  of the  concerns.   During  his  inspections, he  has                                                               
found  few  instances  of machine  malfunction.    Most  problems                                                               
involve  how  the   machine  is  used.    He   pointed  out  that                                                               
individuals  are required  to  be licensed  prior  to driving  an                                                               
automobile;  however,  over  40,000   people  die  in  automobile                                                               
accidents each  year.  While  there are many restrictions  on the                                                               
materials used to  make automobiles, the way the  vehicle is used                                                               
may  result in  deaths.   In regard  to radiologic  equipment, he                                                               
stated that  it is not  usually a  problem with the  machine, but                                                               
rather how  it is  used.   He opined that  this can  be addressed                                                               
through  proper  education  of those  individuals  operating  the                                                               
equipment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  stated that the aforementioned  letter is                                                               
included as  backup material  for the  bill, which  suggests that                                                               
these issues  are being  addressed.   She expressed  concern that                                                               
all issues included in the  letter are not specifically addressed                                                               
by the  bill.  She then  referred to a case  involving a facility                                                               
in Fairbanks that  was unaware of a gassy x-ray  tube, and shared                                                               
her understanding  that HB 71  would not address  this particular                                                               
problem.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PEARCE agreed  that  this particular  problem  would not  be                                                               
addressed.  He  reiterated that most of the problems  he sees are                                                               
related  to  the  training  and  knowledge  of  how  to  use  the                                                               
equipment safely.   There are some instances  where the equipment                                                               
has   failed,  this   bill  addresses   the  training   of  those                                                               
individuals operating the equipment.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  asked whether  there is a  procedure used                                                               
to routinely evaluate  or test equipment, and  whether Mr. Pearce                                                               
was  performing  a  routine evaluation  when  he  discovered  the                                                               
aforementioned gassy x-ray tube.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. PEARCE replied yes.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:35:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DONNA ROFSHOLM,  Chair, Legislative Committee, Alaska  Society of                                                               
Radiological  Technologists   (AKSRT),  stated  that   AKSRT  was                                                               
involved in drafting the language for  HB 71.  She explained that                                                               
AKSRT drafted this legislation to  address concerns regarding the                                                               
radiation   safety   of   patients,   along   with   establishing                                                               
educational  guidelines  for   operators  of  radiation  emitting                                                               
equipment.    These  standards would  ensure  that  all  Alaskans                                                               
receive quality  care during an  x-ray examination.  There  is no                                                               
"safe dose" of  radiation.  Patients are not aware  of the facts,                                                               
and  do not  know how  to evaluate  the safety  of the  procedure                                                               
being administered,  and place all  confidence in  the healthcare                                                               
worker  performing the  procedure.   Without a  licensure policy,                                                               
anyone can  take an x-ray with  minimum or no training.   Passage                                                               
of  HB 71  would establish  standards for  individuals performing                                                               
the  radiology exams.   The  DHSS  has documented  the misuse  of                                                               
radiation in the state.  She  opined that the public cannot blame                                                               
the  operators for  errors  made, as  training  is not  required.                                                               
Passage of  HB 71  would ensure that  the necessary  education is                                                               
received.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. ROFSHOLM  went on to  say that the  expense to a  facility to                                                               
license an individual would be the  same as the cost of one x-ray                                                               
procedure.   She opined  that this  is a small  amount to  pay to                                                               
ensure  patients safety.   She  explained that  training programs                                                               
sponsored by a  medical facility, supervised, or  instructed by a                                                               
licensed  practitioner  would also  qualify  as  education.   The                                                               
AKSRT wants to ensure that  any individual performing a radiology                                                               
procedure has a minimum of education.   HB 71 would not alter the                                                               
manner in which  small and rural clinics  operate, and recognizes                                                               
that  rural   areas  have  different  needs   than  urban  areas.                                                               
Provisions  in   the  bill  ensure  that   individuals  currently                                                               
performing x-ray  procedures will be  able to continue  doing so.                                                               
The training  is available  online, and may  be completed  at the                                                               
operator's  convenience.    There are  currently  37  individuals                                                               
enrolled in  the limited radiology  program.  She  explained that                                                               
these  individuals are  from rural  areas of  the state  and have                                                               
voluntarily  enrolled to  receive education  in performing  x-ray                                                               
procedures.    These  individuals will  receive  an  occupational                                                               
endorsement  from  the university  after  the  completion of  the                                                               
program.    The AKSRT  feels  that  establishing guidelines  will                                                               
promote safety and provide quality care to all Alaskans.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:40:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO,  in  regard  to the  amount  of  radiation                                                               
omitted, asked whether digital or film machines are preferable.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. PEARCE  explained that  the amount  of radiation  produced is                                                               
determined  by  technique  factors   that  are  adjusted  on  the                                                               
machine.  Digital imaging is  more sensitive than film, therefore                                                               
less  radiation  may be  required.    However, there  is  concern                                                               
regarding possible  misuse of digital  imaging, which  can result                                                               
in a higher level of exposure.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:42:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICK  URION, Director,  Division of  Corporations, Business,  and                                                               
Professional Licensing ("the  Division"), Department of Commerce,                                                               
Community,  &  Economic  Development  (DCCED),  stated  that  the                                                               
Division is  in support of HB  71.  He agreed  that public health                                                               
is in  jeopardy, and  licensure is the  first step  in correcting                                                               
the problem.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  asked how  many additional  employees this                                                               
would require.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  URION  replied  that  the   Division  would  hire  one  more                                                               
employee.   In  response  to additional  questions, he  explained                                                               
that the Division licenses qualified  individuals.  If complaints                                                               
are received,  investigators look into  this.  The  Division does                                                               
not  check to  ensure  that  all individuals  are  licensed.   He                                                               
stated that  this is not done  in any profession licensed  by the                                                               
Division.   In regard to  the consequences of operating  an x-ray                                                               
machine without  proper licensure, he  pointed out that  the bill                                                               
contains  several provisions  addressing this,  and the  Division                                                               
will abide by these.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  explained that  his concerns are  a result                                                               
of  recently   learning  that  businesses  operating   without  a                                                               
business license  in the state  were not  subject to any  type of                                                               
citation.   He  shared  his  belief that  doctors  would want  to                                                               
ensure that radiological technologists are properly licensed.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI replied  that some  clinics do  not have                                                               
[certified] radiologic  technologists, and opined that  this is a                                                               
matter of cost versus health.   This bill would ensure that there                                                               
is a certain level of healthcare available across the state.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. URION, in response to  a question from Representative Neuman,                                                               
explained that  the test  to be  used has  been developed  by the                                                               
American  Registry of  Radiologic  Technologists.   The  Division                                                               
would  check  all  information  submitted,  to  ensure  that  the                                                               
individual meets the requirements set forth by the legislature.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:48:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  added that  the bill  does not  create a                                                               
board  for  this  reason.     The  bill  requires  that  national                                                               
standards are met, and explained  the process applicants would go                                                               
through  to  become  licensed.   In  response  to  an  additional                                                               
question, he explained  that the bill is  specific regarding what                                                               
the  commissioner  can  impose  for  the  license,  as  this  was                                                               
previously  considered by  the legislature.    He commented  that                                                               
some details  regarding administrative  duties have been  left to                                                               
the discretion of the commissioner.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  inquired as  to why dental  assistants are                                                               
not included.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  replied that  the bill does  not address                                                               
dental practice, as it only addresses radiologic technologists.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked if  this is  identical to  [HB 150],                                                               
which was  considered by  the House  Labor and  Commerce Standing                                                               
Committee during a previous legislative session.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  replied yes.  In  response to additional                                                               
questions,   he  agreed   that   the   definition  of   "licensed                                                               
practitioner" was included in the aforementioned bill.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX, referring  to  a letter  from Mr.  Pearce                                                               
dated  January 22,  2007  which notes  the  misuse of  equipment,                                                               
inquired as to  whether the equipment was  misused by individuals                                                               
that  are exempt  from  HB  71, such  as  nurse practitioners  or                                                               
physicians assistants.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PEARCE  replied that  the  individuals  responsible for  the                                                               
examples given are included in the bill.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  commented that a license  would provide a                                                               
tool  for clinics  to evaluate  whether or  not an  individual is                                                               
competent.  She expressed concern  with the problems mentioned by                                                               
Mr. Pearce  that are not addressed  by the bill, and  opined that                                                               
equipment should  be examined by  a person with knowledge  of how                                                               
it should work.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KAWASAKI   replied   that  there   are   federal                                                               
requirements regarding when the equipment should be evaluated.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER opined  that this is not  adequate, if one                                                               
survey has revealed a number of problems within the state.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. URION  shared his understanding  that Mr. Pearce is  the only                                                               
equipment  inspector   in  the  state,  adding   that  additional                                                               
inspections may be needed.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON asked whether dental  assistants were included in the                                                               
previous versions of this bill.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI   replied  no.     In  response   to  an                                                               
additional question, he explained  that dental assistants are not                                                               
included for  a specific  reason.   He offered  his understanding                                                               
that the equipment used by dental assistants is not the same.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  whether it  would be  worthwhile to                                                               
consider  regulating  dental  assistants  in a  future  piece  of                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI replied that he would look into this.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  surmised  that  "dental  techs"  might  be                                                               
covered under  the regulations set  forth by the  American Dental                                                               
Association (ADA).   He  pointed out  that dental  hygienists may                                                               
already have certification  and licensing.  He  commented that he                                                               
has  received  radiation,  and  is  "deeply  troubled"  that  his                                                               
technologist may  have not  known as  much as  he or  she should.                                                               
Referring to  House Bill 150, he  questioned why the bill  had so                                                               
much opposition.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI  offered   his  understanding  that  the                                                               
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium,  along with the Division,                                                               
was previously in opposition to the legislation.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PEARCE,  in  response  to  a  question  from  Representative                                                               
Gardner, said that the Board  of Dental Examiners inspects dental                                                               
equipment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI shared  his belief  that HB  71 enhances                                                               
public health in Alaska, adding that  if it did not, he would not                                                               
propose this legislation.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   LEDOUX  commented   that  during   the  previous                                                               
legislative session, she  was under the impression  that the bill                                                               
addressed a  problem that did not  exist.  However, she  has been                                                               
convinced  that this  issue does  exist.   She expressed  concern                                                               
regarding rural areas  and whether "forcing the  best" may result                                                               
in  "nothing at  all."   She  opined that  members should  remain                                                               
cognizant of this,  and stated that she is unsure  of whether she                                                               
is in  support of  the bill, as  she needs to  find out  how this                                                               
will affect rural areas.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:02:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON stated  his intention to hold the bill  to allow time                                                               
for additional testimony.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN asked  about continuing education programs,                                                               
and whether these will be available online.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI   replied  that  individuals   from  the                                                               
[Radiologic  Technology  Program  at the  University  of  Alaska,                                                               
Anchorage (UAA)],  can discuss continuing  education at  the next                                                               
committee hearing.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.   URION,   in   response    to   additional   comments   from                                                               
Representative  Neuman, stated  that the  Division would  like to                                                               
offer online  renewals, although  initial licensure will  need to                                                               
be examined  by the Division.   He then explained  how continuing                                                               
education units are dealt with in other professions.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:05:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Labor and  Commerce Standing Committee  meeting was  adjourned at                                                               
4:05:32 PM.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                

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