Legislature(2013 - 2014)BARNES 124

03/26/2014 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 370 AWCB CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE PRESCRIPTIONS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 281 PRESCRIPTION WITHOUT PHYSICAL EXAMINATION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 336 ALCOHOL SALES NEAR SCHOOL/CHURCH TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 316 WORKERS' COMPENSATION MEDICAL FEES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 316(L&C) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                         
                         March 26, 2014                                                                                         
                           3:39 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kurt Olson, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Lora Reinbold, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Bob Herron                                                                                                       
Representative Charisse Millett                                                                                                 
Representative Dan Saddler                                                                                                      
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault                                                                                                    
Representative Craig Johnson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 316                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to workers'  compensation  fees  for  medical                                                               
treatment  and   services;  relating  to   workers'  compensation                                                               
regulations; and providing for an effective date."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 316(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 370                                                                                                              
"An Act relating  to employer drug testing;  requiring the Alaska                                                               
Workers' Compensation Board to adopt  regulations relating to the                                                               
prescription of controlled substances  to employees; and limiting                                                               
the prescription of controlled substances to employees."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 281                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to prescription  of drugs by a physician without                                                               
a physical examination."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 336                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to sales  of alcoholic beverages near  a school                                                               
or church."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 316                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: WORKERS' COMPENSATION MEDICAL FEES                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): LABOR & COMMERCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/19/14       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/19/14       (H)       L&C                                                                                                    
03/07/14       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/07/14       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/07/14       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/10/14       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/10/14       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/10/14       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/14/14       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/14/14       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/17/14       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/17/14       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/17/14       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/24/14       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/24/14       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/24/14       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/26/14       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 370                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: AWCB CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE PRESCRIPTIONS                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): LABOR & COMMERCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
03/03/14       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/03/14       (H)       L&C, JUD                                                                                               
03/19/14       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/19/14       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/19/14       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/26/14       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 281                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PRESCRIPTION WITHOUT PHYSICAL EXAMINATION                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): GATTIS                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
01/27/14       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/27/14       (H)       HSS, L&C                                                                                               
02/13/14       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/13/14       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/13/14       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
02/27/14       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/27/14       (H)       Moved CSHB 281(HSS) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/27/14       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
02/28/14       (H)       HSS RPT CS(HSS) 4DP                                                                                    
02/28/14       (H)       DP: SEATON, PRUITT, KELLER, HIGGINS                                                                    
03/17/14       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/17/14       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/17/14       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/26/14       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 336                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ALCOHOL SALES NEAR SCHOOL/CHURCH                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): TARR                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
02/24/14       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/24/14       (H)       L&C                                                                                                    
03/26/14       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ANNA LATHAM, Staff                                                                                                              
Representative Kurt Olson                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Reviewed the proposed committee substitute                                                               
(CS) for HB 316, Version O, on behalf of the sponsor, the House                                                                 
Labor & Commerce Committee, Representative Kurt Olson, Chair.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL MONAGLE, Director                                                                                                       
Central Office, Division of Workers' Compensation                                                                               
Department of Labor & Workforce Development (DLWD)                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 316.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ANNA LATHAM, Staff                                                                                                              
Representative Kurt Olson                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Reviewed proposed HB 370 on behalf of the                                                                
sponsor, the House Labor & Commerce Committee, Representative                                                                   
Kurt Olson, Chair.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DON ETHERIDGE, Lobbyist                                                                                                         
Alaska State AFL-CIO                                                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the discussion of HB 370.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
RICK TRAINI, Business Representative                                                                                            
Teamsters Local 959;                                                                                                            
Member, Alaska Workers' Compensation Board (WCB)                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition of HB 370.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN GATTIS                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as prime sponsor of HB 281.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAURA BROOKS, Health Care Administrator                                                                                         
Office of the Commissioner - Anchorage                                                                                          
Department of Corrections                                                                                                       
Galena, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HB 281.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT LAWRENCE, Doctor                                                                                                         
Chief Medical Officer                                                                                                           
Inmate Health                                                                                                                   
Department of Corrections                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the discussion of HB 281.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
KATE BURKHART, Executive Director                                                                                               
Alaska Mental Health Board                                                                                                      
Department of Health and Social Services                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the discussion of HB 281.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the discussion of HB 336.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MIKE COONS                                                                                                                      
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the discussion of HB 336.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
KEIRA NOGGLE, Student                                                                                                           
Clark Middle School                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 336.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DEVIN OWENS, Student                                                                                                            
Clark Middle School                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 336.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MARY WILLOYA, Student                                                                                                           
Clark Middle School                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 336.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
NYA NUER BIDIT, Student                                                                                                         
Clark Middle School                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 336.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ALEXANDER ALVEREZ, Student                                                                                                      
Clark Middle School                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 336.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ALYSHIA PATTERSON, Student                                                                                                      
Clark Middle School                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 336.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DWYNE NICKOLS, Student                                                                                                          
Clark Middle School                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 336.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DAVID COLLINS, Student                                                                                                          
Clark Middle School                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 336.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
PAUL FUHS, Lobbyist                                                                                                             
Fairview Business Association                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the discussion of HB 336.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:39:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KURT  OLSON called  the House  Labor and  Commerce Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order  at   3:39  p.m.    Representatives                                                               
Saddler,   Josephson,   Herron,  Millett   (via   teleconference)                                                               
Reinbold, and Olson were present at the call to order.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
           HB 316-WORKERS' COMPENSATION MEDICAL FEES                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:39:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON announced  that the first order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  316 "An  Act relating  to workers'  compensation                                                               
fees  for medical  treatment and  services; relating  to workers'                                                               
compensation regulations; and providing for an effective date."                                                                 
[Version O was before the committee, adopted on 3/10/14.]                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:40:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNA  LATHAM,  Staff,  Representative Kurt  Olson,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, stated  that HB 316  proposes to change  the medical                                                               
schedule  for workers'  compensation from  a usual  and customary                                                               
and reasonable  (URC) schedule  with a  geographical differential                                                               
built at the 90th percentile, which  the state has been using for                                                               
the past  ten years, to  a fee schedule  based on the  Center for                                                               
Medicare and  Medicaid Services, a resource-based  relative value                                                               
scale,   along   with   the  conversion   factor   the   Workers'                                                               
Compensation Board will  set under the advisement  of the Medical                                                               
Services Review Committee (MSRC).                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:41:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD made  a  motion to  adopt Amendment  [2]                                                               
labeled 28-LS1362\O.5, Wallace, 3/24/14, which read as follows:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 16:                                                                                                           
          Delete "January 1, 2015"                                                                                              
          Insert "July 1, 2015"                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:41:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LATHAM explained  that this  change would  give the  MSRC an                                                               
additional  six   months  to  reconvene  and   set  the  original                                                               
conversion factors; the committee has not met since 2009.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON  explained that [Amendment  2] is an attempt  to [set                                                               
the fee  schedule appropriately],  and the additional  six months                                                               
will allow  the MSRC adequate time  to make sure to  get "all the                                                               
kinks out of it."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:42:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER asked  which organization  will have  the                                                               
delay.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. LATHAM answered  that the MSRC will have  the additional time                                                               
to reconvene.   The  MSRC will  advise the  Workers' Compensation                                                               
Board (WCB) on  setting the conversion factors.   She stated that                                                               
originally some concern  was expressed about the  WCB setting the                                                               
schedules  since  the  board  doesn't  have  the  expertise,  the                                                               
medical background, or experience to do  so.  She related that in                                                               
the  proposed  committee substitute,  [Version  O],  the MSRC  is                                                               
designated as the committee to advise the WCB.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON  removed his  objection.    There being  no  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:43:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  said he was  unsure of the goal  of the                                                               
bill and expressed  concern that the legislature  is delegating a                                                               
considerable  amount and  delegating some  of that  to the  MSRC,                                                               
which has been defunct.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON suggested "inactive" might be a better choice.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON agreed.  He  said he did not hear enough                                                               
testimony whether  needs of injured  workers will continue  to be                                                               
met in workers' compensation law.   The committee heard testimony                                                               
from concerned  doctors who said  if the rates  are significantly                                                               
reduced,  doctors  will  not  be  able  to  see  these  patients.                                                               
Additionally, an  attorney, Michael J.  Jensen, sent a  letter to                                                               
that effect [in  members' packets].  He  recapped his fundamental                                                               
concerns, including  concerns about prescription  drugs, although                                                               
he acknowledged he may propose some amendments later.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   OLSON   reminded   Representative  Josephson   that   the                                                               
prescription drugs are not part of this bill.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:45:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON argued  that prescription  benefits are                                                               
part of  HB 316.  He  noted previous testimony from  the Workers'                                                               
Compensation  Committee of  Alaska on  March 7,  2014, indicating                                                               
that  doctors have  a "blank  check"  for two  years without  any                                                               
recourse to  question or limit  costs.  He  said that may  or may                                                               
not  be  true;  however,  he  expressed  concern  that  too  much                                                               
regulation might be occurring.   Certainly, premium costs need to                                                               
be  reduced.    He  questioned,  as raised  by  testimony  in  an                                                               
unrelated bill,  whether some  of these  premiums are  related to                                                               
the high costs  in Alaska since rates are high  across the board,                                                               
not  just  for workers'  compensation  patients.   Primarily,  he                                                               
would like  to afford injured  workers time to get  better access                                                               
to medical care.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON told him that he shares this goal.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:46:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL MONAGLE,  Director, Central Office, Division  of Workers'                                                               
Compensation,  Department   of  Labor  &   Workforce  Development                                                               
(DLWD), echoed  the Chair's  comments.  It  is certainly  not the                                                               
department's  intent to  reduce medical  fees to  the point  that                                                               
doctors will not treat injured  workers and direct them elsewhere                                                               
to  get the  quality  of  treatment needed.    Certainly, as  the                                                               
department works with the MSRC  and the WCB to achieve conversion                                                               
factors, it  will not  be his intent  to reduce  reimbursement to                                                               
doctors  to  the  point  that doctors  refuse  to  treat  injured                                                               
workers.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:47:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  declared a  conflict of interest  as he                                                               
has an existing  workers' compensation claim of  his own stemming                                                               
from  a car  accident  injury.   In response  to  a question,  he                                                               
answered that it is incumbent upon  him to make the record clear.                                                               
He then said, "I would love to vote."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON thanked him for declaring the conflict.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:47:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON reported that Representative Millett is on-line.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  moved to  report the  proposed committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for HB  316,  Version  O, labeled  28-LS1362\O,                                                               
Wallace, 3/10/14,  as amended, out  of committee  with individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no  objection, the  CSHB  316(L&C) was  reported  from the  House                                                               
Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:48:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 3:48 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
         HB 370-AWCB CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE PRESCRIPTIONS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:50:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON  announced that the  next order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 370, "An  Act relating to employer  drug testing;                                                               
requiring  the  Alaska  Workers'   Compensation  Board  to  adopt                                                               
regulations   relating   to   the  prescription   of   controlled                                                               
substances  to  employees;  and   limiting  the  prescription  of                                                               
controlled substances to employees."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON  reported HB  370 was previously  heard on  March 19,                                                               
2014 and the committee took public testimony.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:50:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNA  LATHAM,  Staff,  Representative Kurt  Olson,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, stated  that Section 1 authorizes  employers to drug                                                               
test  injured   workers  for  controlled  substances   listed  in                                                               
Schedule  IA  of   AS  11.71.140  if  the   employees  have  been                                                               
prescribed a controlled substance for  over 90 days as the result                                                               
of  a workplace  injury.    Section 2  would  require the  Alaska                                                               
Workers   Compensation   Board   (AWCB)  to   adopt   regulations                                                               
pertaining  to  the  prescription  of  controlled  substances  to                                                               
implement  Section  3.    Section 3  would  limit  a  physician's                                                               
prescription  of a  controlled substance  listed in  Schedule IA,                                                               
under AS  11.71.140, or  a controlled  opium substance  listed in                                                               
Schedule  III-A under  AS.11.160,  or in  Schedule  V-A under  AS                                                               
11.71.180.  This bill, HB 370,  would discourage the use of long-                                                               
term  opioids by  restricting prescriptions  to a  30-day supply.                                                               
In the  event an  employee's drug test  is positive,  meaning the                                                               
employee is taking  their prescription to manage  pain, no action                                                               
would be taken.   The sole intent  of the bill in  the event that                                                               
an  employee's drug  test report  is  negative would  be to  deny                                                               
payment  of  the  prescription  as   it  relates  to  a  workers'                                                               
compensation claim.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:52:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON reopened public testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DON ETHERIDGE, Lobbyist, Alaska  State AFL-CIO, expressed concern                                                               
about the drug testing in Section  1.  He asked what would happen                                                               
if an  employee is not  taking the  proper amount of  drugs being                                                               
prescribed for pain  relief.  Although he  understands the intent                                                               
of the bill,  nothing in the bill states that  the claim won't be                                                               
controverted or that  an employee might be ordered to  go back to                                                               
work.   He  related a  scenario in  which a  person had  a broken                                                               
neck, but refused to take  pain medications.  The claims adjuster                                                               
suggested that the worker was not  hurt that bad, even though the                                                               
worker had  four steel plates  in his neck.   He related  his own                                                               
experience with pain medication  post-surgery, such that he might                                                               
take one  or two pills  the first day,  but that he  preferred to                                                               
avoid taking  pain medication.   The ramifications of  not taking                                                               
prescription  drugs should  be  clearly stated  in  the bill,  he                                                               
said.   He  specified that  the AFL-CIO  does not  object to  the                                                               
provision  limiting  prescribed drugs  to  a  30-day limit.    He                                                               
suggested that at  the last hearing the implication  was that all                                                               
injured workers are either drug  addicts or are "peddling" drugs.                                                               
He [did not believe that was the case.]                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON  responded that he  certainly did  not think so.   He                                                               
voiced his goal is to get employees back to work.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. ETHERIDGE  related that was his  only concern.  He  said that                                                               
if an employee  is drug tested before employment  or during work,                                                               
that the  employee could  be suspended or  terminated.   He would                                                               
like to  know any  ramifications by the  employer if  the injured                                                               
worker is taking too many or too few prescription drugs.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:55:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICK  TRAINI,  Business   Representative,  Teamsters  Local  959;                                                               
Member, Alaska  Workers' Compensation Board (WCB),  urged members                                                               
not to support HB  370.  He stated that the focus  of the bill is                                                               
not treatment  directed.  He said  he is serving his  second term                                                               
on the WCB  and has only experienced one instance  of an employee                                                               
not taking prescribed medicine.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from  3:57 p.m. to 3:59 p.m. due to                                                               
audio problems.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:59:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TRAINI restated  that he  has experienced  only one  case in                                                               
which an injured employee was not taking prescribed medication.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
[HB 370 was held over.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:00:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:00 p.m. to 4:02 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
        HB 281-PRESCRIPTION WITHOUT PHYSICAL EXAMINATION                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:02:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON  announced that the  next order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 281, "An Act  relating to prescription of drugs by                                                               
a  physician   without  a  physical  examination."   [Before  the                                                               
committee was CSHB 281(HSS)].                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:02:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  GATTIS,  Alaska State  Legislature,  stated                                                               
that  HB  281 clarifies  in  statute  that physicians  cannot  be                                                               
sanctioned   for   dispensing   or   administering   prescription                                                               
medications without conducting a physical  exam of the patient if                                                               
some   basic  stipulations   are   met  in   a  practice   called                                                               
telemedicine.  Under  HB 281, care would be  delivered by primary                                                               
care physicians  licensed in Alaska,  and patients would  be able                                                               
to  obtain  over the  phone  or  on-line consultations  in  which                                                               
physicians can  diagnose an ailment  and if  necessary, prescribe                                                               
prescription  medicine; however,  physicians could  not prescribe                                                               
controlled  substances.   At  the  last  hearing, a  concern  was                                                               
raised about overprescribing.  She  reported that her information                                                               
shows  that  the national  average  prescribing  rate for  common                                                               
uncomplicated diagnoses is  82 percent in the  "brick and mortar"                                                               
setting, and 77 percent in  the telehealth setting, per Teladoc's                                                               
156,000  consultations.   The  efficient  quality  of the  system                                                               
comes down  to cost and  access for  the average citizen.   These                                                               
practices can  have favorable impacts  because of access  to care                                                               
for individuals living in rural and urban settings.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:04:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON reported  that his office received  concerns from the                                                               
Department of  Corrections (DOC).   He anticipated  a forthcoming                                                               
amendment that will be considered at a later hearing.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
LAURA   BROOKS,  Health   Care  Administrator,   Office  of   the                                                               
Commissioner, Department of Corrections, introduced herself.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:05:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The  committee took  an at-ease  from 4:05  to 4:21  p.m. due  to                                                               
audio issues.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:21:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT LAWRENCE,  Doctor; Chief  Medical Officer;  Inmate Health,                                                               
Department  of  Corrections,  with   respect  to  DOC,  discussed                                                               
different forms of  telemedicine.  One type  of telemedicine that                                                               
has  been practiced  in the  state involves  provider-to-provider                                                               
communications, in which a nurse  contacts a physician and orders                                                               
are  given over  the phone  or via  Internet.   A second  type of                                                               
telemedicine   involves  direct   patient  to   medical  provider                                                               
communication,  specifically when  a  patient  has a  preexisting                                                               
relationship with  the provider; however, this  bill introduces a                                                               
new form  of telemedicine  to the  state, in  which a  patient is                                                               
allowed  to   contact  a  medical   provider  without   having  a                                                               
preexisting doctor-to-patient relationship.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR. LAWRENCE said DOC's concern  is that the HB 281 inadvertently                                                               
hampers  the department's  ability to  provide services  in rural                                                               
Alaska using  telemedicine in ways  that are already  approved by                                                               
the   medical  board,   specifically  in   terms  of   controlled                                                               
substances.   For example, a physician  in the DOC often  will be                                                               
called for a prescription involving  a controlled substance for a                                                               
patient  in a  remote  DOC  facility.   The  department needs  to                                                               
retain  the  ability to  give  the  prescriptions at  a  distance                                                               
instead of  sending the inmates  to an  emergency room or  to ask                                                               
other providers  to be  available.   Secondly, the  department is                                                               
affected by the requirement on page  2 that the physician must be                                                               
physically located in the state in  order to render care over the                                                               
phone or by other means.   Those are the two primary concerns, he                                                               
said, and  he understood  the sponsor  is working  to accommodate                                                               
those. He appreciated working with the sponsor on these issues.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON acknowledged  that the committee is  working with the                                                               
sponsor and DOC on the aforementioned changes to the bill.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:24:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATE BURKHART,  Executive Director,  Alaska Mental  Health Board,                                                               
Department  of  Health and  Social  Services  (DHSS), stated  the                                                               
Alaska Mental Health  Board (AMHB) is the  state planning council                                                               
for issues  related to  mental health.   She  said the  board has                                                               
reviewed  the  bill and  appreciates  the  sponsor's support  for                                                               
telemedicine.   She  recalled earlier  testimony about  the types                                                               
and forms  of telemedicine in  the state.  The  AMHB acknowledged                                                               
that while  the bill doesn't  speak directly  to tele-psychiatry,                                                               
it  was important  to  place on  the  record how  tele-psychiatry                                                               
works and its importance to patients.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. BURKHART  explained that  tele-psychiatry in  the publically-                                                               
funded  behavioral health  system  is integral  to mental  health                                                               
services.    In many  communities,  the  ability to  recruit  and                                                               
retain psychiatrists  is hampered by geography  and compensation.                                                               
She  reported  the  current vacancy  rate  for  psychiatrists  is                                                               
almost  25 percent  and many  communities  wait years  to find  a                                                               
psychiatrist.  Community behavioral  health centers and federally                                                               
qualified health centers that offer  mental health services often                                                               
contract  with psychiatrists  who are  licensed psychiatrists  in                                                               
Washington  but often  practice  in the  Pacific  Northwest.   In                                                               
addition,  psychiatrists from  the University  of Washington  and                                                               
Children's  Hospital are  frequently contracted  with to  provide                                                               
tele-psychiatry  services.   These psychiatrists  often prescribe                                                               
medications in  the course  of mental  health treatment  and some                                                               
are  controlled substances;  however,  these drugs  are not  what                                                               
this bill  intends to prevent  being diverted  into inappropriate                                                               
uses;  rather,  they  are anti-anxiety  medications  and  similar                                                               
medications that are part of an ongoing course of treatment.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BURKHART   stated  that  psychiatrists   practicing  through                                                               
telemedicine  work  in   conjunction  with  community  behavioral                                                               
health  centers, where  clients present  and are  impaneled at  a                                                               
community  behavioral health  center for  mental health  services                                                               
such   as   therapy,   case    management,   life   skills,   and                                                               
rehabilitative services.   She further stated  that psychiatrists                                                               
provide  medications necessary  to stabilize  and manage  chronic                                                               
health conditions, which is part  of an ongoing relationship.  In                                                               
fact,   tele-psychiatry  is   not  used   in  acute   psychiatric                                                               
situations,  but   is  part  of  ongoing   care,  although  tele-                                                               
psychiatry is sometimes  used in those situations  in Bush Alaska                                                               
when  a psychiatric  emergency arises.   In  community behavioral                                                               
health centers,  the importance of tele-psychiatry  is to provide                                                               
ongoing  mental health  treatment.   Although the  bill does  not                                                               
speak directly to  psychiatry, the AMHB felt it  was important to                                                               
provide an overall  context of how tele-psychiatry  works and the                                                               
importance of providing this access to rural Alaskans.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:29:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON recalled a number  of people in the medical community                                                               
in the  late 1970s came  to Alaska  through the Bureau  of Indian                                                               
Affairs or the military.   He said these doctors received tuition                                                               
repayment  for each  year they  stayed in  Alaska, with  about 75                                                               
percent remaining  in the state.   He asked whether that  type of                                                               
program is currently happening.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BURKHART  replied  that issues  related  to  recruitment  of                                                               
psychiatrists that  he addresses  includes practitioners  who are                                                               
now  retiring.   She  explained that  recruiting  doctors in  the                                                               
early or  middle part of  their career  is more difficult  if the                                                               
doctors have  not had experience  in Alaska.  Some  attempts have                                                               
been made to  establish a psychiatric residency  in Alaska, since                                                               
doctors  tend  to   practice  in  a  close   proximity  of  their                                                               
residency;  however, the  board has  not been  able to  establish                                                               
that residency.   The state  has a relationship with  the Western                                                               
Washington WWAMI  program to help  with recruitment, but  part of                                                               
the issue  is the cost  of living  and conditions.   For example,                                                               
Fairbanks  has   struggled  for  years  to   recruit  and  retain                                                               
psychiatrists,  in part  because  the military  is a  competitive                                                               
employer  and  pays  a  higher  salary,  thus  the  hospital  and                                                               
community behavioral health center  and tribal providers have had                                                               
trouble competing.  In  Ketchikan, Community Connections provides                                                               
services  to people  with  developmental  disabilities and  early                                                               
childhood mental health, but also  contracts with a psychiatrists                                                               
at  Children's Hospital.   Although  the Ketchikan  community has                                                               
recently had two psychiatrists,  neither is a child psychiatrist.                                                               
She reported that all of  the psychiatrists providing services in                                                               
the publically-funded system are licensed  in the state, which is                                                               
the quality assurance mechanism.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:32:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON referred  to the  description of  tele-                                                               
psychiatry, and he recalled that  people in Alaska used providers                                                               
in Washington  State.  He  asked whether the provider  would have                                                               
licensure in Juneau.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BURKHART  stated  that   the  integrated  behavioral  health                                                               
regulations require that the client  be present at the behavioral                                                               
health  center   and  a  clinician   is  with  them   during  the                                                               
appointment,   in  part,   to  navigate   equipment  and   ensure                                                               
continuity  of   care.    The   state  will  not   reimburse  the                                                               
appointment  without this  method.   Therefore, a  client is  not                                                               
being served at home with the tele-psychiatrist appointment.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:33:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  said that  in his region  communities have                                                               
contracted for services from someone  in Minnesota.  He asked for                                                               
the average vacancy  rate in the Lower 48 and  how it compares to                                                               
the 25-percent vacancy rate for psychiatrists in Alaska.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BURKHART  recalled  the  board had  a  presentation  on  the                                                               
vacancy rate,  and an  expected vacancy  in the  community health                                                               
system is  10 percent  and anything  over that  requires planning                                                               
efforts.    In the  health  care  industry  in Alaska,  they  are                                                               
looking at those  fields with 11 percent or  over, but psychiatry                                                               
has the highest rate.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON asked whether this is a national trend.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BURKHART   said  it  depends   on  the  community   and  the                                                               
subspecialty.   For example, geriatric psychiatry  has often been                                                               
in demand and is provided  through tele-psychiatry in Alaska, but                                                               
the practice  is robust in Florida.   She offered to  provide the                                                               
national average on vacancy rates for psychiatrists.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:35:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON,  after first  determining  no  one else  wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 281.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
[HB 281 was held over.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
            HB 336-ALCOHOL SALES NEAR SCHOOL/CHURCH                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:36:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON announced  that the final order of  business would be                                                               
the HOUSE  BILL NO. 336, "An  Act relating to sales  of alcoholic                                                               
beverages near a school or church."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:37:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR,  Alaska   State  Legislature,  as  sponsor,                                                               
stated HB 336 was introduced at  the request of students at Clark                                                               
Middle School.   In her neighborhood several  stores near schools                                                               
sell alcohol,  and some students  have encountered  situations in                                                               
which  they feel  unsafe, including  intoxicated individuals  who                                                               
engage in inappropriate  behavior such as urinating  in public or                                                               
fighting.   These  students discussed  the  issues and  suggested                                                               
this bill as one piece of  that effort, noting students have also                                                               
been working on conditional use  permits for liquor stores.  This                                                               
is  an opportunity  to  think about  the  future and  contemplate                                                               
whether these uses  are compatible uses.  This  bill would extend                                                               
the buffer  zone for alcohol sales  and schools from 200  feet to                                                               
400  feet.   However,  this  isn't  a  new  idea and  bills  were                                                               
previously introduced  in 2001.   Per the National  Conference of                                                               
State  Legislatures  (NCSL),  35  other states  have  a  distance                                                               
restriction, and  of those, 25  have some limitation  between 300                                                               
and  1,000  feet.   Thus,  the  current 200-foot  restriction  is                                                               
relatively low  and 400  feet seemed  to be a  good remedy  for a                                                               
situation in which  uses may not be compatible ones.   The liquor                                                               
businesses  are not  at  fault, and  like  any other  businesses,                                                               
these stores  provide jobs  in the community.   In  addition, she                                                               
offered her appreciation for the  economic impact businesses have                                                               
on the  community; however, in  these instances  the incompatible                                                               
uses has arisen.   Again, this bill would  change the restriction                                                               
for  alcohol sales  from within  200 to  within 400  feet from  a                                                               
public entrance of a church or school.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:40:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  COONS stated  that he  is  changing his  testimony from  an                                                               
earlier  e-mail submission,  since  he now  understands why  this                                                               
bill is being brought forward.   He asked whether any issues have                                                               
arisen with respect  to the school, and if so,  he was certain it                                                               
would  have  resulted in  school  lockdowns.   He  also  wondered                                                               
whether  students were  sneaking  out.   Now  that  he is  better                                                               
informed, he  wonders how  many schools will  be affected  and if                                                               
this problem  is a statewide  epidemic.  He asked  whether police                                                               
could patrol the vicinity when  students are likely to be walking                                                               
near the schools.   However, he did  not see the need  for a bill                                                               
to globally  change the distance.   He urged members not  to pass                                                               
the bill and to let the communities make the needed changes.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  said she appreciated his  comments.  She                                                               
related an  instance in her  community in which the  Wal-Mart was                                                               
built and  applied for a  liquor license.  The  community council                                                               
voted  against it  but the  assembly approved  the license.   She                                                               
said it was tough for the community  to deal with the issue.  She                                                               
appreciated this bill being brought forward.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:43:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEIRA NOGGLE, Student,  Clark Middle School, spoke  in support of                                                               
HB 336.   She stated that  preventing a store, bar,  or club from                                                               
serving  or  selling  liquor  within  400 feet  of  a  school  is                                                               
important to  her because  she wants  to feel  safe going  to and                                                               
from school.  She has been  harassed when she has walked past the                                                               
liquor store by inebriated people who  whistled at her.  She said                                                               
that these  inebriates harm  and harass students.   It  is unfair                                                               
that students at  Clark Middle School must go through  this.  She                                                               
urged members to please support HB 336.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:44:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEVIN OWENS,  Student, Clark Middle  School, offered  support for                                                               
HB 336, preventing a store, bar,  or club from serving or selling                                                               
liquor within  400 feet of  a school, which is  important because                                                               
intoxicated people do thoughtless things  to youth.  This student                                                               
has personally experienced an intoxicated  person trying to break                                                               
into  a student's  car  while  the car  was  occupied.   Further,                                                               
intoxicated people try to pressure  young adults to drink alcohol                                                               
and also  harass them.   She maintained that Clark  Middle School                                                               
students should not be subjected to the inappropriate behavior.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:45:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY WILLOYA,  Student, Clark Middle School,  offered support for                                                               
HB 336.   This is important  because people drink and  sleep near                                                               
the schools  and students  encounter inebriates  as they  walk to                                                               
and from  their homes  and school.   She said  that she  tries to                                                               
avoid the  intoxicated people because  they make her  feel unsafe                                                               
and scared.  She urged members to support HB 336.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:46:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NYA  NUER  BIDIT,  Student,  Clark  Middle  School,  offered  her                                                               
support for HB 336.  This  is important because of drunk driving.                                                               
She has  nearly been hit  by an intoxicated driver  while walking                                                               
home,  which  is not  an  experience  students should  encounter.                                                               
Students should  not have to  encounter intoxicated people.   She                                                               
urged members to support HB 336.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:47:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALEXANDER ALVEREZ, Student, Clark  Middle School, offered support                                                               
for HB 336,  as it is important because students  are harassed by                                                               
intoxicated  people who  are constantly  asking for  spare change                                                               
and money.   He said he doesn't want that  to happen to students.                                                               
He urged members to support HB 336.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ALYSHIA PATTERSON, Student, Clark  Middle School, offered support                                                               
for HB  336 because she walks  past both liquor stores  daily and                                                               
is  harassed.   She described  an incident  in which  intoxicated                                                               
people  followed  her and  some  of  her  friends.   They  yelled                                                               
inappropriate things and threw liquor  bottles on the ground that                                                               
nearly injured  her friend.   Even trying to avoid  inebriates by                                                               
turning corners wouldn't stop them.   She offered her belief that                                                               
this  can happen  to any  student walking  home and  she did  not                                                               
think it was fair.  She urged members to support HB 336.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:49:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DWYNE NICKOLS, Student, Clark Middle  School, offered support for                                                               
HB 336.   This  is important  to him  because students  should be                                                               
afforded the same opportunities to  walk in safe neighborhoods as                                                               
other students.  He urged members to support HB 336.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:49:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID COLLINS, Student, Clark Middle  School, offered support for                                                               
HB  336 because  intoxicated people  harass students,  fight, and                                                               
ask for  change.   Many of  them are near  the school  and liquor                                                               
store and  walk on the school  property, which is why  he doesn't                                                               
want liquor stores to be near the school.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:50:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON asked  whether the  students have  pursued                                                               
the   Municipality  of   Anchorage's  (MOA)   nuisance  provision                                                               
process.    He  said  that  if there  is  a  constant  stream  of                                                               
complaints against a  business the community can  start a process                                                               
to close the business.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR responded  that  she and  the students  have                                                               
been  trying to  work through  the permit  renewal process.   She                                                               
referred  to an  article  in members  packets entitled  "Assembly                                                               
requires new  permitting for [two] Mountain  View liquor stores."                                                               
She said that  she has been using the  conditional use provisions                                                               
rather than  attempting to  close the stores  down.   If problems                                                               
can't  be  resolved  using  the   conditional  use  process,  the                                                               
nuisance process  will be the  next step.   She related  that the                                                               
store  owners  have  come  before  the  Mountain  View  Community                                                               
Council  on  several  occasions and  she  appreciated  the  store                                                               
owners'  positions as  responsible  business owners.   She  hoped                                                               
this bill would help keep a future action from happening.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:52:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEIRA NOGGLE  said that the  students haven't tried  the nuisance                                                               
process but believe the bill is a great bill to pass.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:53:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON  said  the  sponsor  indicated  the  local                                                               
community council  has been working  on conditional  use permits;                                                               
however, he recalled  when he worked as a city  manager one store                                                               
was difficult to work with so  a nuisance law was put into place.                                                               
He suggested  the sponsor  could try  parallel tracks  to address                                                               
the  issue  since the  nuisance  process  is different  than  the                                                               
conditional use  permit.   He said one  aspect with  the nuisance                                                               
process  is  that the  police  must  respond to  each  complaint.                                                               
Again, if the  students complain through the  nuisance process it                                                               
would not  interfere with the  conditional use process.   He also                                                               
suggested the nuisance process could  help document the frequency                                                               
of problems.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:54:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON suggested  increasing  the restriction  to                                                               
1,000  feet  and  aim  high  rather  than  to  take  the  minimum                                                               
approach.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  appreciated the support.   She reported that                                                               
most states  restrict alcohol  sales from  300-1000 feet,  so the                                                               
starting point  is 400  feet; however, she  is open  to extending                                                               
the buffer.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:55:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT asked  how  many liquor  stores are  near                                                               
Clark Middle School that would fall within the 400 [feet] area.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  answered two  liquor stores fall  within 400                                                               
feet of  Clark Middle School.   She  said that if  this provision                                                               
was in place, that they would be need to be relocated.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:56:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT asked  whether liquor  store owners  were                                                               
contacted to find out if they were willing to cooperate.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  answered yes;  that a subcommittee  has been                                                               
working on it.   She acknowledged that some  tension exists since                                                               
businesses want  to operate profitable businesses  yet still meet                                                               
the requirements of the law.   However, the businesses were aware                                                               
that students  have encountered intoxicated individuals  and feel                                                               
unsafe.   The liquor stores  have been receptive to  the negative                                                               
community response.   She  reiterated she  has been  working with                                                               
the  business owners  to understand  their position,  noting that                                                               
these stores  are operating  legal businesses.   She  pointed out                                                               
that  this really  highlights the  need for  additional substance                                                               
abuse treatment,  which is a  long-term solution.   She described                                                               
the bill and [nuisance process] as intermediate steps.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:58:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT suggested that  if the liquor store owners                                                               
had children  attending the school  they might  better understand                                                               
the issue.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR agreed.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:58:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER said he was  not hearing that this problem                                                               
is  statewide problem,  but rather  that  it seems  like a  local                                                               
problem.  He offered his  support for the approach Representative                                                               
Herron suggested.   He  asked whether  the current  liquor stores                                                               
would be grandfathered in under the bill.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR agreed they would be grandfathered in.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:58:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  related  he  did  not  know  much  about                                                               
zoning, but  he was unsure  how effective  the bill would  be for                                                               
new construction for bars.  He  suggested that the patrons of the                                                               
store seem  to be the issue  rather than the store.   He wondered                                                               
how the  additional 200 feet  would address the problem  since it                                                               
doesn't take long to walk that extra distance.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  recognizes  this bill  won't  affect  these                                                               
establishments, which is the reason  to simultaneously pursue the                                                               
conditional  use  process.    However   any  current  schools  or                                                               
churches  will not  be  affected  by the  bill,  but  due to  the                                                               
current   discussion   of   charter  schools   and   new   school                                                               
development,  this  bill  identifies  a  problem  that  might  be                                                               
avoided  in the  future.   She  acknowledged that  Representative                                                               
Herron's suggestion  to extend  the buffer  is a  good one.   She                                                               
indicated that incompatible uses can  exist and if 200 feet isn't                                                               
an  adequate  distance, she  agreed  extending  the buffer  could                                                               
help.  This could be a  useful tool worth considering, but she is                                                               
taking other steps to address  the substance abuse, acknowledging                                                               
that although this  bill is not about substance  abuse issues, it                                                               
is one part of several things that can be done.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:01:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  was unsure how  is this is a  useful tool                                                               
to combat alcohol abuse.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR said that one  of the things is to discourage                                                               
kids from  abusing alcohol.   She would  like to  shield students                                                               
from  the types  of  experiences they  have  had with  inebriated                                                               
persons  near the  school.   She  suggested  that students  spend                                                               
their  school day  thinking  about  their future  and  how to  be                                                               
responsible,  but   walk  outside  to  see   something  in  stark                                                               
contrast.   She  would prefer  to  have students  walk away  with                                                               
positive messages  to mull over  rather than having  the negative                                                               
encounters  and  potentially  be encouraged  to  try  substances,                                                               
which should be avoided.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:03:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL  FUHS, Lobbyist,  Fairview Business  Association, said  that                                                               
the  association has  supported the  bill, but  it is  part of  a                                                               
general  bigger problem.    He  suggested that  if  one store  is                                                               
closed or is restricted it will  show up someplace else.  He said                                                               
that  "we  live  with  this  every day."    He  anticipated  that                                                               
legislators will  hear more and  more of this until  something is                                                               
done  to resolve  it.   He offered  to provide  written comments,                                                               
which suggests a "no sell  list" for habitual problem drinkers to                                                               
focus  on the  problem and  not on  the business.   The  Fairview                                                               
Business   Association  further   suggests  a   case-managed  and                                                               
coordinated treatment program  using alcohol tax funds.   He said                                                               
an increase  in alcohol  taxes was  passed to  provide additional                                                               
funds for treatment.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:04:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON asked if it was an increase in alcohol tax in 2002.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. FUHS agreed  the increase was $.10 per drink  with about half                                                               
of the amount currently being spent on treatment.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:04:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FUHS   said  that  the   Cabaret,  Hotel,   Restaurant,  and                                                               
Retailer's   Association's  (CHARR)   and  the   Municipality  of                                                               
Anchorage's official  position is  that alcohol tax  funds should                                                               
be spent  on treatment.   He characterized the  current situation                                                               
as being unacceptable.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
[HB 336 was held over.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:05:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Labor and Commerce Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at                                                                  
5:05 p.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB316 Draft Proposed Amendment O.5.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 316
HB316 Opposing Documents-Letter CompPharma 3-21-2014.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 316
HB316 Supporting Documents-Letter Alaska AFL-CIO.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 316
HB316 Opposing Documents-Letter Michael Jensen 1-02-2014.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 316
HB316 Supporting Documents-Letter AMLJIA 3-01-2014.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 316
HB316 Supporting Documents-Letter Express Scripts 3-21-2014.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 316
HB316 Supporting Documents-Letter Healthcare Solutions 3-11-2014.PDF HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 316
HB336 ver N.PDF HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/7/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/7/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Fiscal Note-DCCED-ABC-03-20-14.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/7/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Supporting Documents-Meyer Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 4/7/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Supporting Documents-News Article ADN Conditional Permitting.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Supporting Documents-Signed Postcards.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Supporting Documents-CHARR Legislative Priorities.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Supporting Documents-Hotch Letter.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Supporting Documents-Letters-Assorted-Clark Middle School.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB336 Supporting Documents-Letters-Assorted-Clark Middle School2.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336
HB281 Draft Proposed Amendment U.1.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 281
HB281 Draft Proposed Amendment U.3.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 281
HB370 Fiscal Note-DOA-RM-03-21-14.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 370
HB370 Supporting Documents-Health Partners Opiate Drug Screens.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 370
HB281 Opopsing Documents-Letter State Medical Board 3-18-2014.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 281
HB336 Supportiing Documents-Fairview Business Association.pdf HL&C 3/26/2014 3:15:00 PM
HB 336