Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/05/2004 02:08 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 5, 2004                                                                                          
                           2:08 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
TAPE (S) 04-19                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
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                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Occupational Safety and Health Review Board:                                                                                    
     Thor R. Christianson                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Board of Dental Examiners:                                                                                                      
     Mary Ann Cerney                                                                                                            
     Dr. Arne R. Pihl                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
State Medical Board:                                                                                                            
     Dr. Robert A. Breffeilh                                                                                                    
     Dr. John T. Duddy                                                                                                          
     Dr. G. Bert Flaming                                                                                                        
     Dr. David M. Head                                                                                                          
     Michael J. Tauriainen                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Board of Certified Direct-Entry Midwives:                                                                                       
     Dr. Mark E. Richey                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Board of Nursing:                                                                                                               
     Patricia M. Swenson                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Board of Pharmacy:                                                                                                              
     Cindy Bueler                                                                                                               
     Captain Gary M. Givens                                                                                                     
     Michael Pauley                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     CONFIRMATIONS ADVANCED                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 243                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to  immunization of  postsecondary students  for                                                              
meningitis; and providing for an effective date."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 385                                                                                                             
"An  Act relating  to  homeland  security,  to civil  defense,  to                                                              
emergencies  and to disasters,  including  disasters in the  event                                                              
of  attacks,  outbreaks  of  disease,  or  threats  of  attack  or                                                              
outbreak  of   disease;  establishing   the  Alaska   division  of                                                              
homeland security  and emergency  management in the  Department of                                                              
Military and  Veterans' Affairs and  relating to the  functions of                                                              
that  division   and  that  department;   and  providing   for  an                                                              
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 222                                                                                                             
"An Act  requiring certain hospitals  to make certain  disclosures                                                              
on patient billings."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
BILL: SB 243                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: POSTSECONDARY STUDENT IMMUNIZATION                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) ELTON                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/12/04       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/2/04                                                                                
01/12/04       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/12/04       (S)       HES                                                                                                    
04/05/04       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 385                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SECURITY;DIV. HOMELAND SECURITY/EMER. MGT                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
04/05/04       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/05/04       (S)       HES, FIN                                                                                               
04/05/04       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 222                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MEDICAL PATIENT BILLING DISCLOSURES                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) DYSON                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
05/14/03       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/14/03       (S)       HES, L&C                                                                                               
04/05/04       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR. ROBERT BREFFEILH                                                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Confirmation Hearing,  candidate for  State                                                            
Medical Board.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN GARY GIVENS                                                                                                             
Eagle, River, Alaska                                                                                                            
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Confirmation Hearing,  candidate for  Board                                                            
of Pharmacy.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOR CHRISTIANSON                                                                                                           
Sitka, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION   STATEMENT:     Confirmation   Hearing,  candidate   for                                                            
Occupational Safety and Health Review Board.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARY ANN CERNEY                                                                                                             
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Confirmation Hearing,  candidate for  Board                                                            
of Dental Examiners.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHN DUDDY                                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Confirmation Hearing,  candidate for  State                                                            
Medical Board.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. MICHAEL TAURIAINEN                                                                                                          
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Confirmation Hearing,  candidate for  State                                                            
Medical Board.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DR. DAVID HEAD                                                                                                                  
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Confirmation Hearing,  candidate for  State                                                            
Medical Board.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. PATRICIA SWENSON                                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Confirmation Hearing, candidate for Board                                                                
of Nursing.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KIM ELTON                                                                                                               
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented sponsor statement for SB 243.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. DAVID LIEBERSBACH                                                                                                           
Acting Assistant Commissioner                                                                                                   
Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management;                                                                           
Director of Alaska Division of Emergency Services,                                                                              
Department of Military & Veterans Affairs                                                                                       
PO Box 5800                                                                                                                     
Ft. Richardson, AK 99505-0800                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented SB 385.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. WES KELLER                                                                                                                  
Staff to Chair Dyson                                                                                                            
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered a question pertaining to SB 385.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHN CRAMER                                                                                                                 
Director, Division of Administrative Services                                                                                   
Department of Military & Veterans Affairs                                                                                       
PO Box 5800                                                                                                                     
Ft. Richardson, AK 99505-0800                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions pertaining to SB 385.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. AL STOREY                                                                                                                   
Division of Alaska State Troopers                                                                                               
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
3700 East Tudor Road                                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska  99507                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified they had not analyzed SB 385 yet.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-19, SIDE A                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FRED  DYSON called the  Senate Health, Education  and Social                                                            
Services  Standing  Committee  meeting   to  order  at  2:08  p.m.                                                              
Present at the  call to order were Senators Green,  Wilken, Guess,                                                              
and Chair Dyson.   Senator Davis arrived while the  meeting was in                                                              
progress.  Also present was Senator Elton.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                    ^ CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Occupational Safety and Health Review Board:                                                                                    
     Thor R. Christianson                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Board of Dental Examiners:                                                                                                      
     Mary Ann Cerney                                                                                                            
     Dr. Arne R. Pihl                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
State Medical Board:                                                                                                            
     Dr. Robert A. Breffeilh                                                                                                    
     Dr. John T. Duddy                                                                                                          
     Dr. G. Bert Flaming                                                                                                        
     Dr. David M. Head                                                                                                          
     Michael J. Tauriainen                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Board of Certified Direct-Entry Midwives:                                                                                       
     Dr. Mark E. Richey                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Board of Nursing:                                                                                                               
     Patricia M. Swenson                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Board of Pharmacy:                                                                                                              
     Cindy Bueler                                                                                                               
     Captain Gary M. Givens                                                                                                     
     Michael Pauley                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked  Dr. Breffeilh if he wanted  to continue serving                                                              
on the State Medical Board.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR. ROBERT BREFFEILH confirmed this was correct.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  asked Captain  Givens why he  wanted to serve  on the                                                              
Board of Pharmacy.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN GARY GIVENS  testified from Anchorage that he  has been on                                                              
the  Board   of  Pharmacy  since   March,  was  on   the  Pharmacy                                                              
Association committee  for six years,  and his interest is  in the                                                              
pharmacy affairs  in the state,  in protecting public  safety, and                                                              
being active in the community.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked  Mr. Christianson why he wanted to  serve on the                                                              
Occupational Health and Safety Board.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOR CHRISTIANSON  responded he was involved  with the seafood                                                              
business  for a  number of  years  and is  now in  the EMS  field,                                                              
which   emphasizes   injury   prevention.     This   board   looks                                                              
interesting,  and he feels  he could  help with different  aspects                                                              
of safety issues.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  asked Ms. Cerney why  she was interested in  being on                                                              
the Board of Dental Examiners.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARY  ANN CERNEY  said she has  served for  five years  and is                                                              
interested  in serving  in a  profession  in which  she is  fairly                                                              
well  versed.    She  confirmed  she was  living  and  working  in                                                              
Fairbanks.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  asked Dr. Duddy where  he was practicing,  and why he                                                              
wanted to serve on the State Medical Board.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHN DUDDY  responded he was in private practice  in Anchorage                                                              
and  wanted to  give  back to  the community  and  help to  ensure                                                              
there were good practicing physicians within the state.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  asked Mr. Tauriainen  why he  wanted to serve  on the                                                              
State Medical Board.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. MICHAEL  TAURIAINEN replied  he is a  civil engineer,  and was                                                              
appointed to  be the public member.   His interest stems  from his                                                              
philosophy that less  is better than more regulation,  and also in                                                              
those  regulations being  applied  fairly.   He said  he has  been                                                              
serving in an appointed role since August of 2003.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GRETCHEN GUESS  asked how he judges, not  just the number,                                                              
but also the quality of regulations.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. TAURIAINEN said  he was impressed with the  free market system                                                              
to sort  things out.   By not restricting  the market  or limiting                                                              
the value  of competition, there  are new techniques,  procedures,                                                              
and equipment.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   GUESS  asked  if   he  considers   safety  within   that                                                              
evaluation mechanism, regarding ensuring competition.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. TAURIAINEN said certainly.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  asked Dr. Head  why he wanted  to serve on  the State                                                              
Medical Board.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DR. DAVID HEAD responded  this was his second term,  and he enjoys                                                              
interactions  with other members  on the  board and physicians  in                                                              
the state.  He also mentioned he has experience in Bush Alaska.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON asked  Ms. Swenson  why she  wanted to  serve on  the                                                              
Board of Nursing.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. PATRICIA  SWENSON responded she  wanted to serve on  the board                                                              
for  many  years  and  believes  in  giving  back  to  the  state.                                                              
Serving  on boards  has  been difficult  in  the past  due to  her                                                              
irregular  work  schedule  and family  responsibilities,  but  she                                                              
could  now  fulfill  board  responsibilities.    She  allowed  her                                                              
nursing license  to lapse about  ten years ago because  she didn't                                                              
plan on  returning to  the profession.   After finding  there were                                                              
public  members  on  the  board,   she  checked  with  the  ethics                                                              
attorney for  the state and  was told this  position on  the board                                                              
would not be  a conflict.  Her background in  nursing, legislative                                                              
experience, and  on the Alaska  Workforce Investment  Board allows                                                              
her  to approach  the  board's  issues  from different  points  of                                                              
view.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. SWENSON  told members  she received a  letter from  the Alaska                                                              
Nurses Association  (ANA) via  the Governor's  office.   She noted                                                              
she  had  not  received  the  letter  from  the  ANA  and  it  was                                                              
unfortunate  they  did not  speak  with  her before  sending  that                                                              
letter.   She believes  ANA does not  understand her  function for                                                              
the Alaska Workforce  Investment Board, and assumptions  have been                                                              
made regarding  her  employment that  are not  true.  Despite  her                                                              
designation  as   a  project   coordinator  and  its   description                                                              
according    to    "Workplace,    Alaska,"    her    duties    and                                                              
responsibilities  are far  different.   She is  a staff member  to                                                              
that  board  and  as such,  functions  as  a  facilitator,  staffs                                                              
committees,  does community  outreach,  attends meetings,  gathers                                                              
and disperses information, and so forth.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:25 p.m.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. SWENSON continued  that she interfaces with  the University of                                                              
Alaska, ASHNA  [Alaska State  Hospital and  Nursing Home],  Native                                                              
Healthcare  Corporations, Alaska  Work Partnership, local  unions,                                                              
members of the hospitality  industry, and so forth.   She does not                                                              
design  educational programs  or  review grant  applications,  and                                                              
was not  involved with  the design  or implementation  of programs                                                              
that will  come before the  Board of Nursing.   She said  she does                                                              
not  write grants  or  receive the  administration  of grants  and                                                              
does not  assist agencies  with the writing  of proposals  or with                                                              
subsequent  technical assistance.    She said  specific  personnel                                                              
are hired for  those jobs.  She  has never had any sway  about who                                                              
or who does  not get money.   ANA cites ASHNA's  nursing preceptor                                                              
program  as a program  she was  involved with;  those grants  were                                                              
funded  before  she was  employed  by  DOL,  she stated,  and  her                                                              
presumption  is those funds  would continue  because ASHNA  writes                                                              
good proposals that provide needed services.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SWENSON  continued she  has  not  been actively  involved  in                                                              
developing a grant  for an apprenticeship model for  nursing.  The                                                              
U.S. DOL  office of  apprenticeship  would be  in charge of  money                                                              
and curriculum development  of such a program.   An apprenticeship                                                              
model of nursing -  RNs or LPNs - is not a viable  option, and the                                                              
University is  doing a great  job of creating healthcare  programs                                                              
for both urban and  rural areas so neither the Alaska  DOL or U.S.                                                              
DOL needs to  become involved.   The DOL has a strict  process for                                                              
scoring  grant proposals,  and she  stated  she has  never sat  on                                                              
such a review committee.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON noted she hasn't practiced nursing since 1986.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. SWENSON  confirmed she hasn't  been practicing for  quite some                                                              
time, and had let her nursing license go about ten years ago.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS   referred  to  ANA's   letter  [March   23,  2004,                                                              
attention Senator  Dyson] and asked  about the perceived  conflict                                                              
of interest  and how  that may reflect  on the  board and  on this                                                              
administration.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SWENSON  said she  did not  perceive a  conflict of  interest;                                                              
she was involved  in a "totally  different aspect of what  goes on                                                              
here."  Even  though she attends  meetings, so does the  ANA.  She                                                              
mentioned  there  have  been  public board  members  in  the  past                                                              
receiving  direct  remuneration   from  healthcare  entities;  the                                                              
person  who was the  public member  before her  worked for  public                                                              
health in Barrow,  and was paid by a healthcare  corporation.  She                                                              
said  she doesn't  receive  money from  anybody,  and most  people                                                              
think it's a good idea for her to be on the board.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON   said  generally,  regarding  boards   dealing  with                                                              
technical  and  sophisticated  topics,  the public  member,  as  a                                                              
consumer   or  interested   citizen,  can   present  a   different                                                              
perspective.   He asked  if her  years of professional  experience                                                              
and  training  would  limit  her  ability to  serve  as  a  public                                                              
member.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. SWENSON  said no, her years  of nursing were just  one part of                                                              
her broader perspective.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LYDA  GREEN moved to forward  the names of  the candidates                                                              
to  the larger  body for  confirmation. [This  includes all  names                                                              
listed above.]                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  asked  if  there was  any  objection.    Seeing  and                                                              
hearing none, it was so ordered.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:43 p.m.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
           SB 243-POSTSECONDARY STUDENT IMMUNIZATION                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
The committee took up SB 243.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  noted that  Senator  Davis  had joined  the  meeting                                                              
approximately 10 minutes ago.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KIM ELTON,  sponsor  of the  bill,  provided the  sponsor                                                              
statement,  saying  SB  243  addresses  postsecondary  educational                                                              
institutions in Alaska  notifying students of the  dangers of this                                                              
type  of  meningitis.   This  is  a  potentially  fatal  bacterial                                                              
infection that  most commonly  attacks the  brain and  spinal cord                                                              
or  presents  as a  bacteria  in  the blood.    It can  result  in                                                              
permanent brain  damage, hearing loss, learning  disability, organ                                                              
failure, loss of  limbs, and sometimes death.   Twenty-six hundred                                                              
people  contract  this disease  each  year,  and  about 10  to  15                                                              
percent  die  from  the disease.    College  students,  especially                                                              
freshmen  living in  dormitories, have  been found  to be  at-risk                                                              
and  are  six   times  more  likely  to  contract   this  type  of                                                              
meningitis.  The  Center for Disease Control and  Prevention (CDC)                                                              
recommend  that   all  college  students,   particularly  freshmen                                                              
living in dormitories,  learn more about the disease  and consider                                                              
vaccination.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON  continued that SB  243 doesn't mandate  vaccination                                                              
but  provides  that  Alaskan  postsecondary   institutions  notify                                                              
students  planning  to reside  on  campus  housing, of  the  risk.                                                              
Students  would be  required to  sign a document  provided  by the                                                              
institution,  indicating  they have  received  an immunization  or                                                              
have   received   a   notice   of    the   information   regarding                                                              
immunization.   The  bill  is not  unusual;  it is  the same  bill                                                              
that's  been  presented  in  23  other  states  that  either  have                                                              
pending or adopted the legislation.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked if there was a fiscal note.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON  replied postsecondary  education had a  zero fiscal                                                              
note.    He   explained  this  would  be   additional  information                                                              
attached to  already existing information  - probably on  the same                                                              
page -  requiring a  potential student  to notify the  institution                                                              
that he/she has been immunized or had received the information.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  said before  acting on  the bill,  he wanted  to hear                                                              
from the administration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN asked  if there  were additional  diseases -  other                                                              
than meningitis  - on  campus environments  that have  caused this                                                              
level of concern.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON said  he would check on this but  meningitis was the                                                              
one that  the CDC brought  to the attention  of states  and higher                                                              
education institutions.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN asked if this issue required legislation.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON said  probably  not.   If  postsecondary  education                                                              
wanted  to proceed,  nothing  would restrict  that;  this bill  is                                                              
based on model legislation adopted in other states.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  asked   if  there  was  information   from  Alaska's                                                              
university system in the packet.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON  said  the  information  was  from  CDC  and  other                                                              
sources.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  said  he  would  appreciate   information  from  the                                                              
university  administration  and   also  from  the  state's  public                                                              
health or disease control office.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON mentioned  that conversations had already  been held                                                              
with university lobbyists.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  said  he would  like  knowing  that  the  university                                                              
supports, or  at least does  not have a problem  with SB 243.   He                                                              
announced   the  bill  would   be  held   until  that   additional                                                              
information was obtained.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:40 p.m.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
           SB 222-MEDICAL PATIENT BILLING DISCLOSURES                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
The committee took up SB 222.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON   introduced  SB  222,   saying  that   hospitals  in                                                              
particular, have  a multi-tiered billing  system, and if  a person                                                              
is a self-payor,  he/she pays 100 percent while  the larger third-                                                              
party  payers negotiate  discounts  at a  minimum  of 30  percent.                                                              
This rewards  irresponsible behavior  and encourages folks  to not                                                              
take  responsibility   for  their   own  healthcare;   those  with                                                              
Medicaid/Medicare  often  do  not  pay anything.    Every  medical                                                              
hospital in  the nation has  a number of  services for  which they                                                              
do  not  recover cost,  and  those  costs  gets shifted  to  those                                                              
paying their  own bills.   SB  222 requires,  if state  funding is                                                              
received,  that  the  discount   rates  be  published.    It  also                                                              
requires  hospitals to  reveal information  such as  "how much  of                                                              
your bill  was a  subsidy for  indigent people,  with the  goal in                                                              
mind that you'd be  able to use that as a charitable  gift on your                                                              
income tax."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON referred  to  a  proposed committee  substitute  (CS)                                                              
pertaining  to supplies not  exceeding reasonable  costs  over the                                                              
street value,  with the  desire being to  "shine some  daylight on                                                              
the processes that are going on."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON announced that SB 222 would be held in committee for                                                                
future consideration.                                                                                                           
2:45 p.m.                                                                                                                       
        SB 385-SECURITY;DIV. HOMELAND SECURITY/EMER. MGT                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
The committee took up SB 385.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON said  he understands  that in  response to  terrorism                                                              
threats,  the governor  has issued  an  executive proclamation  to                                                              
coordinate  activities, the  administration has  prepared a  house                                                              
bill, and the HES committee has sponsored SB 385.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DAVID  LIEBERSBACH,  acting assistant  commissioner  for  the                                                              
Office  of  Homeland   Security  and  Emergency   Management,  and                                                              
Director of the  Alaska Division of Emergency Services  within the                                                              
Department of Military  and Veteran's Affairs, testified  that the                                                              
primary  purpose  of SB  385  is to  revise  AS 26.20,  a  statute                                                              
enacted  in  1951,  and  to  update  it  to  reflect  the  current                                                              
situation  with homeland  security.   For  the  most part,  "civil                                                              
defense"  references   in  existing   statute  will   now  reflect                                                              
"homeland security  and civil defense."  This bill  is not related                                                              
to the federal Patriot  Act, but is a result of  Alaska needing to                                                              
include  homeland  security.   Mr.  Liebersbach explained  SB  385                                                              
would consolidate  the Division of Homeland Security  and Division                                                              
of Emergency  Services, and  eliminate the  position of  assistant                                                              
commissioner  (his position); there  would be  one instead  of two                                                              
directors.  There  is  a  zero fiscal  note,  and  if  successful,                                                              
$100,000 would be given back.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LIEBERSBACH  referenced  AS  26.20,  and said  SB  385  would                                                              
repeal obsolete provisions,  and gave the following  examples:  1)                                                              
authorizing  the establishment  of local  organizations for  civil                                                              
defense,  with authority  to issue orders  and adopt  regulations;                                                              
2)  giving civil  defense orders  and regulations  adopted by  the                                                              
governor, DMVA,  local districts,  and other authorized  agencies,                                                              
the  "effect  of law;"  3)  automatically  suspending  conflicting                                                              
laws,  ordinances   or  regulations;  4)  directing   the  federal                                                              
government  and local  law enforcement  to  enforce civil  defense                                                              
orders  and   regulations;  and   5)  prohibiting  civil   defense                                                              
organizations  from   participating  in  any  form   of  political                                                              
activity.    SB   385  would  also  formalize   the  combining  of                                                              
personnel  from  the  Division of  Emergency  Services  and  DMVA;                                                              
Alaska's  homeland  security issues  will  be coordinated  by  the                                                              
DMVA.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON noted  that  concerns have  been  expressed by  other                                                              
divisions/departments  such as DPS,  DEC, and [DOT&PF],  and asked                                                              
Mr. Liebersbach to comment.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LIEBERSBACH  replied the  solutions  to those  concerns  have                                                              
been incorporated  into the final draft  of SB 385.   "Direct" has                                                              
been  modified  to   "coordinate,"  so  that  DMVA   will  not  be                                                              
directing   personnel   of  other   agencies   without   expressed                                                              
authorization   for  delegation   by  the   governor,  as   "these                                                              
departments are  all directed  by the governor."   There  was also                                                              
concern about  DPS authority to  establish roadblocks.   DMVA will                                                              
only  assist   in  manning  or   taking  care  of   roadblocks  in                                                              
consultation  with DOT&PF  and  DPS.   There  are instances  where                                                              
National  Guard  personnel  or  state  defense  forces  can  staff                                                              
roadblocks,  since troopers  don't have that  capability.   During                                                              
the holiday season  in Valdez, this was done  to provide personnel                                                              
to staff roadblocks during a heightened security situation.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked  Mr. Liebersbach about other  concerns DPS might                                                              
have.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-19, SIDE B                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked if DPS was aware of the meeting today.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. WES KELLER,  staff to Chair Dyson, responded DPS  was aware of                                                              
this  meeting;  he was  not  sure if  [DOT&PF]  was  aware of  the                                                              
meeting.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. LIEBERSBACH  said concerns of  DEC, DOT&PF, and DPS  were with                                                              
the oversight  of homeland  security planning,  and the  directing                                                              
of  plans  by  those  agencies.   That  language  was  revised  to                                                              
"coordinating the plans" rather than "directing them."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  referred  to  the  deletion  of  "districts  of  the                                                              
state,"  and   asked  if  this   was  in  reference   to  judicial                                                              
districts.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. LIEBERSBACH  said he didn't  know but  would find out.   Every                                                              
agency of the  state has districts or regions  that are different;                                                              
they  recognize   political  subdivisions   and  local   political                                                              
authority.  He  said he  didn't  know  of existing  civil  defense                                                              
districts currently in use.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  referenced p.2,  lines  26  and 27,  and  considered                                                              
including  British Columbia  (B.C.) and the  Yukon Territory,  but                                                              
said  this may  already be  covered in  paragraph (3).   He  asked                                                              
about  Mr. Liebersbach's  reference  to training  a state  defense                                                              
force to be  military police. At  the end of that process,  if the                                                              
governor  declares an  emergency,  some police  powers  - such  as                                                              
arrest - would be involved; he asked if this was correct.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHN  CRAMER, Director,  Division of Administrative  Services,                                                              
Department  of Military and  Veteran's Affairs,  said he  believes                                                              
the  volunteers would  not  have arresting  powers,  but would  be                                                              
utilized and  activated during times  of disaster or crises.   The                                                              
training process  includes a military police-type  academy, and at                                                              
the end of that training, they are considered to be constables.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LIEBERSBACH  added  that before  being  certified,  there  is                                                              
orientation  and oversight  from  the state  troopers.   Generally                                                              
those people  work in conjunction  with either local or  state law                                                              
enforcement  so  someone  from those  agencies  is  supporting  or                                                              
working with them.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  asked  about  concern that  this  had  an  intrusive                                                              
Patriot Act aspect.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CRAMER explained  that  earlier iterations  of  HB 185  (from                                                              
last year)  included provisions  in proposed  language that  would                                                              
have  allowed  the  Division  of  Homeland  Security  to  exercise                                                              
certain  powers.   Some  of  those  had  to do  with  confiscating                                                              
certain assets or  equipment; that language has been  taken out of                                                              
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked  if there was a provision in state  law, or this                                                              
bill,  providing  that  if  equipment   in  private  ownership  is                                                              
needed, it could  be commandeered for public purpose  for a period                                                              
of time.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CRAMER said  he  believes that  assumption  is correct,  that                                                              
existing  law  allows for  the  state,  in certain  instances,  to                                                              
acquire personal  property,  and there must  be fair  compensation                                                              
for its  use.   He said  he didn't  believe this  was included  in                                                              
this legislation.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  read from  page 7,  line 29, as  follows:   "plan and                                                              
make  arrangements  for  the  availability   and  use  of  private                                                              
facilities,  services,  and  property and,  if  necessary..."  and                                                              
asked if  "property" included, not  only real estate, but  also an                                                              
airplane, boat,  or dump  truck.   He suggested possibly  defining                                                              
"property" to include  other useful equipment.   He also suggested                                                              
that  -  throughout  the  bill -  the  use  of  "coordination"  of                                                              
federal, state,  local and private  agencies, also  include cross-                                                              
border coordination, "to work with our neighbors."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. LIEBERSBACH  said under AS  26.23, the governor  has authority                                                              
to  enter   into  compacts   with  other   states  and   bordering                                                              
provinces.    Under   that  authority,  recognized   by  the  U.S.                                                              
Congress,   Alaska  entered   into  a  compact   with  the   Yukon                                                              
Territory, British  Columbia, Washington,  Oregon, and  Idaho, for                                                              
exactly  this type  of  work.   He  added,  "We could  bring  that                                                              
forward."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON said,  "Only if you think it is necessary."   He noted                                                              
Idaho  and Montana  have been working  with B.C.  and Alberta  and                                                              
have  addressed  practicalities  such as  firefighting  equipment,                                                              
air  fuel capacity,  equipment  and personnel  compatibility,  and                                                              
border crossing documentation.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LIEBERSBACH said  a homeland  security  exercise was  already                                                              
scheduled for September  with the Yukon Territory,  but they could                                                              
look into this issue further.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON announced  SB 385 would  be held  in committee  until                                                              
Wednesday.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. AL STOREY, Division of State Troopers, testified they had                                                                   
not yet seen a copy of SB 385, and would get back with the                                                                      
committee later in the week.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked that the commissioner be notified that most of                                                                
his concerns had been addressed.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business to come before the committee, he                                                                
adjourned the meeting at 3:12 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                

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