Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/23/2003 01:34 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          SENATE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES                                                                        
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                         April 23, 2003                                                                                         
                           1:34 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Fred Dyson, Chair                                                                                                       
Senator Lyda Green, Vice Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Gary Wilken                                                                                                             
Senator Bettye Davis                                                                                                            
Senator Gretchen Guess                                                                                                          
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 135(HES)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating to marital and family therapists."                                                                             
     MOVED SCSHB 135(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
SENATE BILL NO. 156                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to the  posting and giving of  certain warnings                                                               
about  drinking   alcohol  during   pregnancy  when   selling  or                                                               
dispensing  pregnancy testing  kits,  birth  control devices,  or                                                               
birth control prescriptions."                                                                                                   
     MOVED SB 156 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 10                                                                                             
Establishing the Joint Legislative Charter School Task Force.                                                                   
          HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                        
Confirmation Hearings                                                                                                         
Mr. Mark Doner - Professional Teaching Practices Commission                                                                     
Mr. Thomas Lamal - PTPC                                                                                                         
Mr. Laurence Oldaker - PTPC                                                                                                     
Ms. Kimberly Jockusch - PTPC                                                                                                    
Ms. Vivian Dailey - PTPC                                                                                                        
Mr. Craig Baker - PTPC                                                                                                          
CONFIRMATIONS ADVANCED                                                                                                          
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
HB 135 - No previous action to consider.                                                                                        
SB 156 - See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 4/15/03.                                                                          
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 135.                                                                                        
Mr. Larry Holman, Chairperson                                                                                                   
Marriage and Family Therapy Regulatory Board                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 135.                                                                                         
Mr. Wes Keller                                                                                                                  
Staff to Senator Dyson                                                                                                          
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 156.                                                                                      
Mr. John Alcantra                                                                                                               
Government Relations Director                                                                                                   
National Education Association of Alaska (NEAA)                                                                                 
114 2nd Street                                                                                                                  
Juneau AK 99801                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SCR 10.                                                                                         
Mr. Kevin Sweeney, Legislative Liaison                                                                                          
Department of Education &                                                                                                       
 Early Development                                                                                                              
801 W 10 St.                                                                                                                    
Juneau, AK  99801-1894                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SCR 10.                                                                                         
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 03-24, SIDE A                                                                                                            
               HB 135-MARITAL & FAMILY THERAPISTS                                                                           
CHAIR FRED DYSON  called the Senate Health,  Education and Social                                                             
Services  Standing  Committee  meeting  to  order  at  1:34  p.m.                                                               
Present were Senators  Guess, Wilken, Davis and  Dyson. The Chair                                                               
announced HB 135 to be up for consideration.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PEGGY  WILSON, sponsor,  said that HB  135 updates                                                               
the marital  and family  therapist statutes  to the  standards of                                                               
other counseling services in the  state and to national standards                                                               
as  well. It  adds this  board  to the  list of  boards that  can                                                               
contract   out  for   substance  abuse   treatment  by   licensed                                                               
therapists,  gives  the  board  authority  to  order  a  licensed                                                               
therapist  to   submit  to  a   reasonable  physical   or  mental                                                               
examination if the  board has credible evidence  to conclude that                                                               
the therapist's physical  or mental capacity is at  risk for safe                                                               
practice,  allows individual  client  contact to  be used  toward                                                               
hours for  licensing, and requires  the therapist  to communicate                                                               
to  a potential  victim or  law enforcement  officer a  threat of                                                               
serious imminent  harm if  such a  threat is  made by  the client                                                               
during  treatment. It  also imposes  disciplinary sanctions  with                                                               
regard  to  therapist sexual  misconduct  and  provides for  some                                                               
disclosure of information as a consumer protection.                                                                             
CHAIR DYSON  asked if the  law anticipates that the  marriage and                                                               
family therapist  would be talking  to the  potential perpetrator                                                               
or knows  them, in regard to  the provision that would  allow the                                                               
therapist  to  communicate a  threat  to  a potential  victim  or                                                               
police officer.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON said that is correct.                                                                                     
CHAIR DYSON asked if his  understanding is correct that this bill                                                               
will give that authority to the other people on boards.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON replied the  other boards already have that                                                               
authority. It is being added here.                                                                                              
CHAIR DYSON  asked if this bill  makes any changes for  the other                                                               
groups on the list.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON indicated it does not.                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON asked  for an explanation of the  provision that will                                                               
allow client contact hours to be used towards licensing.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON answered  that  in  Alaska, especially  in                                                               
rural  areas, therapists  are sometimes  consulted  to do  family                                                               
counseling,  but  do  individual   counseling  also.  Until  now,                                                               
therapists have not been able  to count the individual counseling                                                               
hours for licensing purposes.                                                                                                   
CHAIR DYSON asked if it allows them to double count the hours.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON replied it does not.                                                                                      
MR.  LARRY   HOLMAN,  Chairman,   Marriage  and   Family  Therapy                                                               
Regulatory  Board,  explained  that  HB 135  is  a  collaborative                                                               
effort between  the American Family Therapy  Regulatory Board and                                                               
the professional  association. This bill is  essential because it                                                               
provides  better   protection  for   the  public  in   the  areas                                                               
Representative  Wilson  talked  about.  In  the  area  of  sexual                                                               
misconduct,  it fills  out guidelines  similar to  those used  by                                                               
other  health disciplines.  It  prohibits  a sexual  relationship                                                               
with  a  client  for  two   years  after  termination  of  active                                                               
treatment.   This   bill  also   makes   an   exception  to   the                                                               
confidentiality  law  that is  a  usual  standard in  therapy  to                                                               
report potentially dangerous  actions by a client  or revealed by                                                               
a client.                                                                                                                       
Most  therapists provide  a disclosure  statement,  but it  isn't                                                               
very  clear  sometimes.  HB  135  asks  them  to  disclose  their                                                               
education, their  areas of specialization,  their fees  and other                                                               
related  information.  It limits  the  practice  of marriage  and                                                               
family  therapists to  areas of  their  education or  specialized                                                               
training.  All  of  the  provisions derive  from  many  years  of                                                               
practical experience  where there  has been difficulty  either in                                                               
Alaska  or  in  another  state.   He  said  marriage  and  family                                                               
therapists use  the American Association  of Marriage  and Family                                                               
Therapy Code of  Ethics, but he has been told  it is important to                                                               
actually  put some  of the  code into  law to  spell it  out more                                                               
CHAIR DYSON asked  if a therapist violates the  section on sexual                                                               
contact  with  a  client,  that therapist  would  be  subject  to                                                               
actions against their license, not criminal sanctions.                                                                          
MR. HOLMAN replied that is correct.                                                                                             
SENATOR LYDA GREEN arrived at 1:45 p.m.                                                                                         
SENATOR  GREEN said  that last  year  when they  dealt with  this                                                               
bill, there were  problems with section 7, which  says, "A client                                                               
may  not be  charged  a  fee by  a  licensed  marital and  family                                                               
therapist  unless  before the  performance  of  the services  the                                                               
client  was  furnished  a  copy   of  a  professional  disclosure                                                               
statement that contained...."                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  responded that  was changed to  direct the                                                               
statute to licensed therapists.                                                                                                 
MR. HOLMAN responded that he wasn't sure of that.                                                                               
SENATOR  GREEN  said she  had  never  been shown  a  professional                                                               
disclosure statement  in a doctor  or dentist's  office. However,                                                               
HB 135  says the  therapist would be  punished for  forgetting to                                                               
provide a  litany of  information to  the client.  She questioned                                                               
why the  board would want  to do that  to its own  membership and                                                               
asked, "Have they defrauded the client?"                                                                                        
MR. HOLMAN replied that their  code of ethics requires therapists                                                               
to provide a disclosure, so someone would not forget to do that.                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  asked if  that requirement is  in statute  for other                                                               
related disciplines.                                                                                                            
MR. HOLMAN replied the disclosure  statement language is the same                                                               
used in other disciplines, but he wasn't sure about the rest.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON  explained  when   a  client  comes  to  a                                                               
therapist, the  client could very  likely be distraught  over the                                                               
breakup of  a marriage  and may not  be thinking  clearly. That's                                                               
why it's so important  for the client to know he  or she bill get                                                               
the disclosure statement.                                                                                                       
CHAIR DYSON  said he  would hold  the bill  for further  work. He                                                               
wanted to  know if the  same disclosure requirements were  put on                                                               
the   Board  of   Professional  Counselors   and  the   Board  of                                                               
Psychologists and Psychological Associates.                                                                                     
                SB 156-PREGNANCY ALCOHOL WARNING                                                                            
CHAIR FRED DYSON  announced SB 156, which he sponsored,  to be up                                                               
for consideration.  He explained that several  years ago, Senator                                                               
Pearce  introduced  and passed  a  bill  requiring that  warnings                                                               
about the  danger of drinking  while pregnant be posted  in bars.                                                               
He reminded  members that prenatal alcohol  poisoning of children                                                               
is the  largest cause  of permanent mental  injury in  our nation                                                               
and  that Alaska,  arguably,  leads  the nation  in  the rate  of                                                               
prenatal alcohol poisoning of children.                                                                                         
CHAIR DYSON said  last fall at the state FASFAE  summit, a parent                                                               
suggested  the  Legislature  take   the  next  step  to  increase                                                               
awareness  amongst sexually  active people  about the  dangers of                                                               
prenatal  alcohol   poisoning  of  children.  He   contacted  the                                                               
National Pharmacy Board and talked  with pharmacists in the state                                                               
who thought that  should be done anyway. This  bill requires that                                                               
pharmacists post  a sign  that says  drinking while  pregnant can                                                               
damage  the  unborn  child   where  prescriptions  and  equipment                                                               
related  to  sexual activity  are  located  and to  provide  that                                                               
information  to   customers  buying  birth  control   devices  or                                                               
pregnancy testing kits. No one has opposed this idea.                                                                           
SENATOR GRETCHEN GUESS asked if they  would be required to post a                                                               
sign as opposed to handing  the information to everyone who comes                                                               
in to buy something.                                                                                                            
CHAIR DYSON replied they are  required to do both. One pharmacist                                                               
told him he was going to put a sticker on each package.                                                                         
SENATOR GUESS asked if the pharmacy  has the choice or whether it                                                               
would have to provide that piece of paper every time.                                                                           
CHAIR DYSON said  he thought it was both. A  sign would be posted                                                               
and the customer would get the information.                                                                                     
SENATOR  GUESS said  she was  a little  worried about  the burden                                                               
this could place  on a clerk at Fred Meyer,  for instance, versus                                                               
the signage, which may be more effective.                                                                                       
MR.  WES  KELLER, staff  to  Senator  Dyson, commented  that  the                                                               
person  who  actually  hands  the  device  to  the  recipient  is                                                               
required to  provide the piece  of paper,  but the penalty  is on                                                               
the owner or the manager of the business.                                                                                       
SENATOR  GUESS envisioned  a scenario  where a  customer in  Fred                                                               
Meyer  went  to the  condom  section  and  then to  the  checkout                                                               
counter and no one handed him  a notice. She asked if the manager                                                               
of Fred Meyer would be penalized.                                                                                               
CHAIR DYSON replied  if there wasn't a sticker on  the package, a                                                               
clerk would  be required to give  the customer a piece  of paper.                                                               
He  assumed the  store would  have a  supply of  stickers at  the                                                               
SENATOR GUESS asked  if he didn't think that  places an excessive                                                               
burden on business.                                                                                                             
CHAIR DYSON  replied yes, but  he didn't  think it was  any undue                                                               
burden,  not  unlike  requiring  clerks to  check  for  age  when                                                               
selling  tobacco. He  added  that according  to  the Division  of                                                               
Public  Health, the  state spends  $1.5 million  on every  FASFAE                                                               
child  by the  time that  child  reaches 18.  He maintained,  "My                                                               
sense in  the business community  that I  have talked to  is that                                                               
they  are glad  to do  this,  particularly as  a defense  against                                                               
potential liability."                                                                                                           
SENATOR GUESS  said notification is  a great goal, but  she asked                                                               
him to  think logistically  about how  it would  take place  in a                                                               
Fred Meyer store.  She asked if the warning would  be the same as                                                               
that in Senator Pearce's legislation.                                                                                           
CHAIR DYSON replied that he thought so.                                                                                         
SENATOR  WILKEN  moved  to  pass   SB  156  from  committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations.  There were no objections  and it was                                                               
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
2:09 p.m.                                                                                                                       
                SCR 10-CHARTER SCHOOL TASK FORCE                                                                            
CHAIR FRED DYSON announced SCR 10 to be up for consideration.                                                                   
MR.  JOHN  ALCANTRA,   Government  Relations  Director,  National                                                               
Education  Association  of  Alaska   (NEAA),  said  that  charter                                                               
schools in  Alaska have  been very  successful and  NEAA supports                                                               
them.  To make  the  task  force as  successful  as possible,  he                                                               
recommended that NEAA appoint a  member to the task force because                                                               
that member  would bring knowledge  and experience  and represent                                                               
the  front line  employees who  make charter  schools successful.                                                               
The NEAA  supports a thorough  examination of how the  federal No                                                               
Child Left Behind  Law is impacting schools  in Alaska, including                                                               
charter schools.                                                                                                                
MR. KEVIN  SWEENEY, Legislative Liaison, Department  of Education                                                               
and  Early Development  (DEED)  supported SCR  10,  and said  the                                                               
number  of charter  schools has  grown significantly  since their                                                               
inception  and DEED  envisions adding  another 20  to 24  charter                                                               
schools in the next five years.                                                                                                 
CHAIR DYSON  asked him if  DEED's position reflects  the attitude                                                               
of the governor.                                                                                                                
MR. SWEENEY said  he hadn't talked to the governor  about it, but                                                               
he  didn't think  there would  be  a problem  since the  governor                                                               
supports the idea of charter schools.                                                                                           
CHAIR  DYSON said  he  knew the  administration  was looking  for                                                               
funding for the startup of charter schools.                                                                                     
SENATOR  GRETCHEN  GUESS  added  that [DEED]  had  found  federal                                                               
funding and,  if it comes  through, the  state would not  have to                                                               
fund it.                                                                                                                        
CHAIR  DYSON asked  if federal  money is  available to  staff the                                                               
task force.                                                                                                                     
MR. SWEENEY replied  that DEED asked for $10  million for charter                                                               
school startup  funds over the next  five years and a  portion of                                                               
those grants could  probably be used for this  activity. The bill                                                               
had  no fiscal  note and  he didn't  know if  all costs  would be                                                               
covered. Technically, DEED  is not in the Office  of the Governor                                                               
and he suggested  amending the bill to  include representation by                                                               
the department.                                                                                                                 
[SCR 10 was held for further work.]                                                                                             
TAPE 03-24, SIDE B                                                                                                            
[2:23 - 3:00 p.m.- Recess]                                                                                                      
CHAIR  DYSON  called the  meeting  back  to  order and  said  the                                                               
committee  would  take  up  the  confirmation  hearings  for  the                                                               
Professional Teaching Practices Commission (PTPC).                                                                              
MR.  MARK DONER,  PTPC  nominee,  said he  wanted  to  be on  the                                                               
Commission because he could make a difference in his profession.                                                                
SENATOR GREEN said he would be an excellent appointment.                                                                        
CHAIR DYSON  said he shares  Senator Green's high opinion  of Mr.                                                               
MR. THOMAS LAMAL, PTPC nominee,  said this appointment would give                                                               
him an  opportunity to meet  other professionals from  around the                                                               
state, gain knowledge  and education in this area  and have input                                                               
into the process.                                                                                                               
SENATOR  GARY WILKEN  thanked him  for serving  and endorsed  his                                                               
MR. LAURENCE  OLDAKER, PTPC, said  he is the current  chairman of                                                               
the PTPC and would like to continue in that capacity.                                                                           
CHAIR DYSON asked what issues the board is dealing with now.                                                                    
MR. OLDAKER replied that during  the last decade, the main issues                                                               
were contract violations. Videos like  Good Touch, Bad Touch were                                                             
distributed  around  the state,  and  along  with other  factors,                                                               
awareness  of  proper  behavior of  professional  personnel  with                                                               
students  increased. Those  kinds of  problems have  lessened and                                                               
more recent issues involve traditional contract violations.                                                                     
MS.  KIMBERLY JOCKUSCH,  PTPC nominee,  said  she feels  strongly                                                               
about high ethical  standards for her profession and  wants to be                                                               
part of the process.                                                                                                            
CHAIR  DYSON  asked  her  about   the  Wright  Group,  which  she                                                               
mentioned on her resume'.                                                                                                       
MS. JOCKUSCH explained  the Wright Group is  a commercial company                                                               
that sells  books and also does  a lot of training,  primarily in                                                               
the area of literacy.                                                                                                           
MS. VIVIAN DAILY, Principal, North  Pole High School, said she is                                                               
the only  principal representative on the  commission. The reason                                                               
she wants to  serve is because the teaching  profession should be                                                               
held to very high ethical standards.                                                                                            
[3:18 - 3:19 - at ease]                                                                                                         
               HB 135-MARITAL & FAMILY THERAPISTS                                                                           
CHAIR  FRED   DYSON  announced   HB  135  to   be  back   up  for                                                               
SENATOR LYDA  GREEN moved to  adopt Amendment 1 and  objected for                                                               
the  purpose  of providing  an  explanation.  She explained  that                                                               
Amendment 1  removes the  language that says  a client  would not                                                               
have to pay  if the disclosure information isn't  provided. A new                                                               
introductory   paragraph  after   "disclosure  statement"   says,                                                               
"Before  the   performance  of  services,  the   client  will  be                                                               
furnished  a copy  of a  professional  disclosure statement  that                                                               
SENATOR GREEN removed her objection.                                                                                            
CHAIR  DYSON  announced  that  with   no  further  objections  to                                                               
Amendment 1, it was adopted.                                                                                                    
SENATOR BETTYE DAVIS moved to  pass SCSHB 135(HES) from committee                                                               
with individual objections.  There were no objections  and it was                                                               
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
CHAIR DYSON  asked if  anyone had  comments on  any of  the other                                                               
MR. OLDAKER  said he  met Craig  Baker during  the last  two PTPC                                                               
meetings  and  he  was  well  studied,  morally  strong  and  no-                                                               
nonsense, a  real deep professional  with a family in  Kodiak for                                                               
10 to 15 years. He appears to be a strong addition to the PTPC.                                                                 
SENATOR GREEN moved to forward the  names of the PTPC nominees to                                                               
the full body. There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                  
CHAIR DYSON adjourned the meeting at 3:25 p.m.                                                                                  

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