Legislature(2019 - 2020)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/01/2019 09:00 AM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 25 EXTEND BOARD OF DENTAL EXAMINERS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 29 EXTEND BOARD OF MARINE PILOTS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 36 EXTEND BOARD OF NURSING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       March 1, 2019                                                                                            
                         9:02 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:02:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
 called  the Senate  Finance Committee  meeting to  order at                                                                    
9:02 a.m.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Natasha von Imhof, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Senator Natasha von Imhof, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Senator Bert Stedman, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Mike Shower                                                                                                             
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
Senator David Wilson                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
David  Scott,  Staff,  Senator Bert  Stedman;  Kris  Curtis,                                                                    
Legislative Auditor,  Alaska Division of  Legislative Audit;                                                                    
Charles  Ward,   Marine  Pilots  Coordinator,   Division  of                                                                    
Corporations,    Business   and    Professional   Licensing,                                                                    
Department of Commerce,  Community and Economic Development;                                                                    
Sara Chambers, Director,  Division of Corporations, Business                                                                    
and   Professional   Licensing,  Department   of   Commerce,                                                                    
Community and  Economic Development; Senator  Cathy Giessel,                                                                    
Sponsor;  Joe   LeFleur,  Acting  Chair,  Alaska   Board  of                                                                    
Nursing;  Dave  Logan,  Executive  Director,  Alaska  Dental                                                                    
Society.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Beth  Farnstrom,  Professional   Practices  Director  Alaska                                                                    
Nurses  Association,   Anchorage;  David   Neilson,  Member,                                                                    
Alaska Board of Dental Examiners.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB 25     EXTEND BOARD OF DENTAL EXAMINERS                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          SB 25 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SB 29     EXTEND BOARD OF MARINE PILOTS                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          SB 29 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SB 36     EXTEND BOARD OF NURSING                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
          SB 36 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 29                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of                                                                     
     Marine Pilots; and providing for an effective date."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:03:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID  SCOTT, STAFF,  SENATOR BERT  STEDMAN, introduced  the                                                                    
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator Shower queried the reason  for a separate Board, and                                                                    
requested the  authority if  there were  no Marine  Board of                                                                    
Pilots.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair von Imhof  stated that Ms. Curtis  may provide more                                                                    
information on the general purpose on the boards.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Scott replied  that if  the  bill did  not go  through,                                                                    
there  would  be  a  one-year winddown  of  the  Board.  The                                                                    
Division   of  Corporations,   Business,  and   Professional                                                                    
license would take over that role.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:07:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRIS  CURTIS,   LEGISLATIVE  AUDITOR,  ALASKA   DIVISION  OF                                                                    
LEGISLATIVE AUDIT, addressed the  question by Senator Shower                                                                    
about the need for the Board.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Shower wondered whether the  Board was needed in the                                                                    
broader sense, and  wondered who would execute  the needs in                                                                    
the event of Board elimination.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Curtis  replied that it  was a federal  requirement that                                                                    
required  that  every  foreign   and  U.S.  flagged  vessels                                                                    
engaged  in international  trade  or moving  in the  state's                                                                    
waters was required to use  the services of a state-licensed                                                                    
pilot. She stated  that the question about  a board required                                                                    
to  license  those individuals  was  a  question for  policy                                                                    
makers.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Curtis explained the audit.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Micciche  remarked  that   the  Boards  were  self-                                                                    
sustaining,  and required  thousands of  hours of  volunteer                                                                    
work that the  department would have to pay  for without the                                                                    
Boards.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Curtis noted  that there  was a  statute that  required                                                                    
that   the   Division   of   Corporations,   Business,   and                                                                    
Professional Licensing  set the  board fees  at such  a rate                                                                    
that it covered the cost of regulation.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair von Imhof remarked that  Ms. Chambers could provide                                                                    
further information. She remarked  that there was a standard                                                                    
formats in the audits, and  the table of contents showed the                                                                    
standard format.  She remarked that  as there would  be more                                                                    
board extensions,  the committee  members would get  used to                                                                    
what, why, and how the decisions were determined.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms.   Curtis  shared   that  the   reports  began   with  an                                                                    
organization   and   function   to   address   the   board's                                                                    
composition  and duties.  She remarked  that there  was also                                                                    
information about the board budget.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:16:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES  WARD,   MARINE  PILOTS  COORDINATOR,   DIVISION  OF                                                                    
CORPORATIONS,    BUSINESS   AND    PROFESSIONAL   LICENSING,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,  COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT,                                                                    
introduced himself.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bishop announced that he  had heard the bills in the                                                                    
Senate Labor and Commerce Committee.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair von Imhof OPENED public testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair von Imhof CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stedman noted  that an  incident in  the Gastineau                                                                    
Channel  would   block  other   vessels.  He   stressed  the                                                                    
seriousness  of the  matter.  He also  pointed  to the  very                                                                    
large vessels  that travel through  the waters  near Alaska.                                                                    
He felt that it was  important to continue to have qualified                                                                    
pilots in the water to minimize potential incidents.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Micciche  pointed out that  March was  the thirtieth                                                                    
anniversary of the  Exxon Valdez, and there  would have been                                                                    
a  different  outcome if  the  regulations  that required  a                                                                    
pilot  to be  on board  until the  passing the  narrows. The                                                                    
regulations stabilized  the skillset of everyone  bringing a                                                                    
vessel into the ports.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator Shower looked  at the budget, and  wondered what was                                                                    
driving the budget surplus.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:21:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARA CHAMBERS, DIRECTOR,  DIVISION OF CORPORATIONS, BUSINESS                                                                    
AND   PROFESSIONAL   LICENSING,  DEPARTMENT   OF   COMMERCE,                                                                    
COMMUNITY AND  ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT,  remarked that  she was                                                                    
impressed at the  ability and awareness to  explain her work                                                                    
at the committee. She provided an overview of the boards.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:25:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  von Imhof  wondered how  many boards  were in  the                                                                    
department.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Chambers  replied that the  Governor's Office  of Boards                                                                    
and Commissions  was the appointing authority  for all state                                                                    
boards and commissions.  There were 21 in  the division that                                                                    
she managed, and  there were over a  hundred total statewide                                                                    
boards and commissions.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Chambers discussed the fiscal note.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  von Imhof  announced that  amendments were  due by                                                                    
5pm on Monday, March 4.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SB  29  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 36                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of                                                                     
     Nursing; and providing for an effective date."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:28:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR CATHY GIESSEL, SPONSOR, explained the legislation.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:34:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRIS  CURTIS,   LEGISLATIVE  AUDITOR,  ALASKA   DIVISION  OF                                                                    
LEGISLATIVE  AUDIT,  addressed  the audit  included  in  the                                                                    
members' packets.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:40:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Micciche  noted  the gaps  in  the  basic  business                                                                    
practices. He  wondered who could suggest  some solutions to                                                                    
the ongoing  management issues. He noted  that the reduction                                                                    
in   the  timeline   process  was   to  provide   additional                                                                    
oversight, and queried the criteria.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Curtis replied  that  it was  an  inexact science.  She                                                                    
remarked that  there was an  examination of  the materiality                                                                    
and severity of each recommendation.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  von  Imhof felt  that  Mr.  LaFleur could  address                                                                    
questions about the inner management of the board.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:44:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOE  LEFLEUR,   ACTING  CHAIR,  ALASKA  BOARD   OF  NURSING,                                                                    
introduced himself.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Wielechowski restated  hid  question pertaining  to                                                                    
funding and  a downtrend in  the surplus. He  wondered about                                                                    
increased fees for telehealth.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. LeFleur responded that he  had been in discussions about                                                                    
the  issue  with  a  company  in Texas  that  wanted  to  do                                                                    
business  in  Alaska, but  that  company  did not  have  the                                                                    
appropriate license  to practice  in Alaska. He  stated that                                                                    
there  was further  review, and  it was  moved to  the board                                                                    
that dealt with licenses.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator   Wielechowski   asked    whether   telehealth   was                                                                    
increasing  the workload.  He  wondered  whether there  were                                                                    
discussions  about   increasing  the  fees   for  telehealth                                                                    
nurses.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr. LeFleur responded  that the desire was  for the provider                                                                    
to be licensed in Alaska for Alaskan patients.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Wielechowski wondered  whether  there  should be  a                                                                    
separate  classification for  telehealth nurses  to pay  for                                                                    
the increased cost.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  LeFleur stated  that if  the cost  went to  the nurse's                                                                    
employer there would be another board required.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wielechowski  felt that  incurring costs  because of                                                                    
extra  work,  then  the  board  could charge  a  fee  for  a                                                                    
possible new classification.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. LeFleur replied  in the negative, because  there was not                                                                    
jurisdiction.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair von  Imhof wondered how  many of the  19,000 nurses                                                                    
were Alaskan  residents and living outside,  but licensed in                                                                    
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:50:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Wielechowski  queried  the   reason  for  the  high                                                                    
turnover on the Board of Nursing, and its impact.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  LeFleur stated  that he  was  brought to  the Board  in                                                                    
2017, and  there was a major  turnover of six people,  so he                                                                    
was the only  one left of seven. He remarked  that the Board                                                                    
was experiencing growing pains.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair von Imhof queried closing comments.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. LeFleur explained the Board's purpose.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Wielechowski remarked  that the  Board response  to                                                                    
the  audit recommendations  stated  that  the November  2018                                                                    
meeting would not adjourn  until telehealth regulations were                                                                    
developed and  read into the  Board minutes. He  queried the                                                                    
status of those regulations.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. LeFleur  the regulations  were developed,  and due  to a                                                                    
snafu, the  Board took public  testimony. The  Department of                                                                    
Law would vote on the issue.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair von Imhof OPENED public testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:54:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BETH  FARNSTROM,  PROFESSIONAL   PRACTICES  DIRECTOR  ALASKA                                                                    
NURSES  ASSOCIATION, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
in support of the bill.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair von Imhof CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:55:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARA CHAMBERS, DIRECTOR,  DIVISION OF CORPORATIONS, BUSINESS                                                                    
AND   PROFESSIONAL   LICENSING,  DEPARTMENT   OF   COMMERCE,                                                                    
COMMUNITY  AND  ECONOMIC   DEVELOPMENT,  addressed  some  of                                                                    
Senator Wielechowski's questions.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wielechowski wondered how  the Board would meet when                                                                    
six of the seven positions were vacant.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Chambers replied that six  new members were appointed by                                                                    
the  administration, but  the Board  had not  met since  the                                                                    
appointments.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Micciche  wondered whether the Boards  were examined                                                                    
in between  the renewal times.  He queried the plan  for the                                                                    
legislature  to   be  comfortable   by  the   department  to                                                                    
encourage improvements in a relatively short timeline.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Chambers   replied  that  the  findings   were  already                                                                    
resolved from the audit. The audit was almost a year old.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Micciche  wondered how the lost  documentation would                                                                    
be remedied.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Chambers assured the committee  that it would not happen                                                                    
again.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair von Imhof requested fiscal note information.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Chambers explained the fiscal note.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  von Imhof  announced that  amendments were  due by                                                                    
5pm on Monday, March 4.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SB  36  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 25                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of                                                                     
     Dental Examiners; and providing for an effective                                                                           
     date."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:08:16 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DAVID WILSON, SPONSOR, introduced the bill.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:10:24 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KRIS  CURTIS,   LEGISLATIVE  AUDITOR,  ALASKA   DIVISION  OF                                                                    
LEGISLATIVE AUDIT, explained the audit.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:12:27 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DAVID  NEILSON, MEMBER,  ALASKA  BOARD  OF DENTAL  EXAMINERS                                                                    
(via teleconference), spoke in support of the bill.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:14:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DAVE  LOGAN,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  ALASKA  DENTAL  SOCIETY,                                                                    
testified in support of the bill.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair von Imhof OPENED and CLOSED public testimony.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:15:36 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SARA CHAMBERS, DIRECTOR,  DIVISION OF CORPORATIONS, BUSINESS                                                                    
AND   PROFESSIONAL   LICENSING,  DEPARTMENT   OF   COMMERCE,                                                                    
COMMUNITY  AND ECONOMIC  DEVELOPMENT,  explained the  fiscal                                                                    
note.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair von  Imhof requested  information about  the budget                                                                    
swings each year from a surplus to a deficit.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Chambers replied  that every  board was  on a  biennial                                                                    
license cycle, so  the bulk of revenue was  from renewals of                                                                    
existing licenses.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Shower  wondered why  the state  would cover  any of                                                                    
the travel within the fiscal note.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Chambers replied  that they  were self-funded,  but ran                                                                    
through the state accounting system.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Micciche queried  the source of the  funding for the                                                                    
1156.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Chambers replied  that  the  expenditures and  revenues                                                                    
were  all tied  into  professional licensing,  and were  all                                                                    
supported by receipts.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  von Imhof  announced that  amendments were  due by                                                                    
5pm on Monday, March 4.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SB  25  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair von Imhof discussed the  schedule for the following                                                                    
week.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
10:21:21 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 10:21 a.m.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 25 Board of Dental Examiners Sunset Review.pdf SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 25
SB25 Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 25
SB 25 Letters of Support.pdf SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 25
SB29 Supporting Document Division of Legislative Audit Board of Marine Pilots Sunset Review.pdf SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 29
SB29 Sponsor Statement Version A.pdf SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 29
SB36 Sponsor Statement 1-28-19.pdf HL&C 4/24/2019 3:15:00 PM
SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 36
SB36 Supporting Document Division of Legislative Audit Sunset Review Summary 08-20113-18.pdf SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 36
SB36 Supporting Document Division of Legislative Audit Sunset Review April 2017.pdf HL&C 4/24/2019 3:15:00 PM
SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 2/7/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 36
SB36 Letter of Support BON 2-14-19.pdf HL&C 4/24/2019 3:15:00 PM
SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 36
SB36 Letter of Support BON 2-14-19.pdf SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 36
SB36 Letter of Support Farnstrom 2-26-19.pdf HL&C 4/24/2019 3:15:00 PM
SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 36
SB36 Letter of Support AK Nurses Assn 2-27-19.pdf HL&C 4/24/2019 3:15:00 PM
SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 36
SB 36 senate finance questions.pdf HL&C 4/24/2019 3:15:00 PM
SFIN 3/1/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 36