Legislature(1997 - 1998)

04/29/1997 09:40 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                                                                               
                                                                               
                             MINUTES                                           
                    SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                          29 April 1997                                        
                            9:40 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPES                                                                        
                                                                               
  SFC-97, #132, Side 1 (000 - 591)                                             
                Side 2 (591 - 142)                                             
                                                                               
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Senator  Bert  Sharp, Co-chairman,  convened the  meeting at                 
  approximately 9:40 a.m.                                                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  In addition to Co-chairman Sharp, Senators Phillips, Donley,                 
  Parnell and Adams  were present  when the meeting  convened.                 
  Senators Pearce and Torgerson arrived shortly thereafter.                    
                                                                               
  ALSO ATTENDING:   Annette Kritzer,  staff to Senator  Leman;                 
  Catherine  Reardon,  Director,   Division  of   Occupational                 
  Licensing, Department of Commerce and Economic  Development;                 
  Representative   Pete   Kelly;  Walter   Majoros,  Executive                 
  Director, Alaska Mental  Health Board, Department of  Health                 
  and  Social  Services;  Margot  Knuth,  Assistant   Attorney                 
  General,  Department   of  Law;  James   Baldwin,  Assistant                 
  Attorney General,  Civil Division, Department of  Law; aides                 
  to committee members and other legislators.                                  
                                                                               
  via  teleconference:     Ron  Cowan,  Division   of  Medical                 
  Assistance,  Department  of  Health  and  Social   Services;                 
  Dorothy   Fulton,   Executive   Director,   Alaska   Nurses'                 
  Association                                                                  
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
       CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 103(STA) am                                      
                                                                               
       "An Act relating  to hearings before  and fees for  the                 
  State     Commission for Human Rights;  and providing for an                 
  effective      date."                                                        
                                                                               
  Co-chair Sharp convened the  session.  He introduced SB  103                 
  and  noted receipt  of revised  fiscal note  from the  Human                 
  Rights Commission.  Senator Parnell moved CSSB 103(STA) with                 
  individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal note  and                 
  without objection it was reported out.                                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
       CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 152(L&C)                                         
                                                                               
       "An  Act  relating   to  certified  nurse   aides;  and                 
  providing for  an effective date."                                           
                                                                               
  Co-chair Sharp introduced SB 152.  Annette Kritzer, staff to                 
  Senator Leman  was  invited  to join  the  committee.    She                 
  explained the sections outlined in the CS.  Page 4 indicated                 
  the  grounds for denial  or suspension.   Section  6 defined                 
  nurse's   aide.    She  also  explained  the  administrative                 
  procedure act.   Senator Adams asked  why section 16 of  the                 
  original bill had been deleted  and Ms. Kritzer advised that                 
  it had  been deleted  at the  request of  the Department  of                 
  Health and  Social Services.   Senator  Parnell asked  about                 
  sections on page 6 and 7 and Ms.  Kritzer advised those were                 
  two different sections.                                                      
                                                                               
  Senator Phillips asked what problems had arisen  in the past                 
  that the  Alaska Nurses' Association could not  handle.  Ms.                 
  Kritzer said that there would be  no recourse if a certified                 
  nurse's aide committed abuse or neglect.                                     
                                                                               
  Mr. Ron Cowan, Division of Medical Assistance, Department of                 
  Health and Social Services testified via teleconference from                 
  Anchorage.    He  explained  the   abuse  problems  for  the                 
  committee.  Senator Adams asked the department's position on                 
  amendment #1.  Mr. Cowan  responded indicating there usually                 
  would  be one or two  witnesses to an  aide being accused of                 
  neglect or abuse.                                                            
                                                                               
  Senator Parnell moved amendment #1  and without objection it                 
  was adopted.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Dorothy   Fulton,   Executive   Director,   Alaska   Nurses'                 
  Association  testified  via  teleconference from  Anchorage.                 
  She  explained  the  process  of   action  taken  against  a                 
  certified  nurses'  aide.   A  full  investigation  would be                 
  undertaken.  Senator  Phillips asked when the  accused could                 
  defend themselves.  Ms. Fulton  explained the accused worked                 
  with  the  investigator and  could hire  an attorney  at any                 
  time.                                                                        
                                                                               
  Catherine  Reardon,  Director,   Division  of   Occupational                 
  licensing, Department  of Commerce and  Economic Development                 
  was invited to  join the committee.   She said the  Attorney                 
  General must approve the filing of  an accusation letter.  A                 
  hearing office  would be then  appointed to hear  the matter                 
  and  make recommendations.   In  response to  a question  by                 
  Senator Phillips she noted there were only three suspensions                 
  in the last two years.                                                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Co-chair  Sharp  asked  if  there  would  be  any  increased                 
  liability  to  medicaid or  medicare.   Ms.  Kritzer advised                 
  there would not.                                                             
                                                                               
  Senator Donley asked  the duties of certified  nurses' aides                 
  and who  set the standards.   Ms. Kritzer said the  board of                 
  the  Nurses'  Association  set  the  standards  and  duties.                 
  Senator  Donley asked  the difference  between  nurse, nurse                 
  Physician/Practitioner  and   nurses'  aide.     Ms.  Fulton                 
  outlined the  duties of  each.   Senator Donley  asked if  a                 
  nurses'  aide  was  allowed  to  draw  blood.    Ms.  Fulton                 
  explained that was the  duty of a phlebotomist.   However, a                 
  nurses' aide  could or could not be  a trained phlebotomist.                 
  She   said   there  were   no   standards  for   training  a                 
  phlebotomist.  Senator Donley  voiced his concern  regarding                 
  this situation.  Ms.  Fulton agreed saying this had  been an                 
  on-going  problem at least forty years  that she knew about.                 
  Senator Donley said he was also  concerned that a new status                 
  was  being created,  replacing  real  nurses with  certified                 
  aides.  Mr.  Cowan said this  would fall into his  licensing                 
  category.  Nurses' aides were relatively  new to Alaska.  At                 
  present  only  certified nurses'  aides  could be  hired and                 
  there was no  specific staff ratio.  It was felt that if the                 
  needs of patients were  being met then there was  no concern                 
  for the nurse/patient ratio.   The situation had  been dealt                 
  with appropriately and he  specifically asked Senator Donley                 
  or anyone else to  report any misuse they  may be aware  of.                 
  Ms. Reardon said there  was no mandatory license law  but it                 
  was a  federal requirement  for nursing  homes that  nurses'                 
  aides be certified.                                                          
                                                                               
  Senator  Parnell   moved  CSSB   152(FIN)  with   individual                 
  recommendations  and accompanying  fiscal notes  and without                 
  objection it was reported out.                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
       SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 6(JUD)                              
                                                                               
       "An Act relating  to minors and amending  laws relating                 
  to the    disclosure  of  information  relating  to  certain                 
  minors; and    amending   Rule   3(c),   Alaska  Delinquency                 
  Rules."                                                                      
                                                                               
  Representative Pete Kelly, sponsor of  the bill, was invited                 
  to join the committee.   He provided a brief  explanation of                 
  the  bill.    He referred to  a chart reflecting  formal and                 
  informal handling procedures for juvenile  charges.  He said                 
  it was important  to try  and encourage youth  to work  with                 
  their family and the department to  resolve the matter.  The                 
  bill would  allow release  of names  of   youth involved  in                 
  crimes for a second  felony and was for the  more dangerous,                 
  repeat  offenders.   The  provision  would also  allow court                 
  proceedings to be open to the public.                                        
                                                                               
                                                                               
  In response  to Senator  Parnell's comments,  Representative                 
  Kelly said  it was  important to  try and  avoid a  petition                 
  being  filed,  which  was  the  formal adjudication  of  the                 
  petition.  He went on to explain a particular Fairbanks case                 
  in which a  juvenile released  on one charge  later shot  an                 
  unsuspecting trooper.   Juveniles should not be  released at                 
  the discretion of the department  on an unsuspecting public.                 
  He also referred  to the case  of teenagers breaking into  a                 
  home  to steal marijuana, a  scuffle ensued and one juvenile                 
  was shot.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Senator  Adams  asked  how  this   bill  would  protect  the                 
  innocent.  Rural  Alaska still  believed one innocent  until                 
  proven  guilty.     Representative   Kelly  said  this   was                 
  disclosure and not punishment.  Protection of the public was                 
  a top priority.                                                              
                                                                               
  Senator Donley moved  amendment #1 and without  objection it                 
  was adopted.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Co-chair Sharp advised at this point that he would  continue                 
  to take testimony but would hold the bill pending receipt of                 
  new fiscal note.                                                             
                                                                               
  Walter  Majoros, Executive  Director,  Alaska Mental  Health                 
  Board, Department of Health and  Social Services was invited                 
  to  join  the committee.    He  said the  board  had serious                 
  conflict  with  HB  6.   There  needs  to  be  a  sharing of                 
  information  regarding disclosure.   Mental Health needed to                 
  be  present in  both  juvenile  and  adult matters.    These                 
  individuals needed to be moved  from the correctional system                 
  to the  mental health  system.   He suggested  amendments be                 
  made that would identify mental health  needs before time of                 
  adjudication.  He further suggested  the amendments might be                 
  as  follows:  1.   limited to  the older adolescent;  2.  no                 
  disclosure until the  adjudication.  Senator Donley  said no                 
  other  states release  information  or disclosure  regarding                 
  juveniles, but juveniles are tried  as adults.  Mr.  Majoros                 
  said he  had no information regarding this  matter.  Senator                 
  Parnell said there was  a concern for the protection  of the                 
  public.    Mr. Majoros  responded  that  there should  be  a                 
  balance for rehabilitation.  Disclosure would be appropriate                 
  at the time of adjudication.  Representative Kelly  said the                 
  victim  would also be protected because they have the option                 
  of not having their name released.                                           
                                                                               
  Margot  Knuth, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law                 
  was invited to join  the committee.  She said the main issue                 
  was  to  try  and avoid  formal  prosecution  and  bring the                 
  juvenile back in to the fold.                                                
                                                                               
  Senator Parnell  explained amendment #2,  page 1, line  9 to                 
  delete "petition" and insert "motion".                                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Ms.  Knuth continued answering  questions of  the committee.                 
  She said that use  of a deadly  weapon not against a  person                 
  was a property  offense.  She  further advised that at  this                 
  time  the State was not concerned about  a log jam of cases.                 
  The  department appreciated  the  efforts of  Representative                 
  Kelly  and  said  they concurred  in  the  matter of  public                 
  safety.                                                                      
                                                                               
  Senator Parnell moved his amendment #2 and without objection                 
  it was adopted.                                                              
                                                                               
  Co-chair Sharp requested any written testimony be faxed into                 
  the  committee  and requested  any  revised fiscal  notes be                 
  submitted.  He set aside HB 6 until tomorrow.                                
                                                                               
                                                                               
       CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 42(STA)                                          
                                                                               
       "An Act relating to the fiscal operations of the Alaska                 
       Railroad Corporation;  and providing  for an  effective                 
  date."                                                                       
                                                                               
  Senator  Phillips  moved  work  draft  CSSB  42 (O-LS0182\K,                 
  Utermohle,  4/26/97) for  working purposes.   Senator  Adams                 
  objected that the title was too tight.  Senator Pearce asked                 
  if it affected the land and Senator Phillips said no.                        
                                                                               
  Senator  Phillips  moved  CSSB  42(FIN).    Senator  Parnell                 
  objected and  asked for a legal analysis  regarding the debt                 
  service.  Senator  Donley asked if  time was of the  essence                 
  and if not more information would be needed.                                 
                                                                               
  Jim  Baldwin, Assistant  Attorney  General, Civil  Division,                 
  Department of Law  was invited  to join the  committee.   He                 
  said he would  need at  least until  the end of  the day  to                 
  provide a  legal analysis  as requested.   Senator  Phillips                 
  said he would hold his motion until tomorrow.                                
                                                                               
  Co-chair Sharp so ordered SB 42 held until tomorrow.                         
                                                                               
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  Co-chair  Sharp  adjourned  the  meeting  until  8:00   a.m.                 
  tomorrow.                                                                    
                                                                               

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