Legislature(2001 - 2002)

05/06/2001 01:45 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                    
                   SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE                                                                                 
                           May 6, 2001                                                                                          
                            1:45 p.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Robin Taylor, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator John Cowdery                                                                                                            
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Dave Donley, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 115(HES)                                                                                    
"An Act relating to the services  of certain medical professionals                                                              
in civil  proceedings for  the commitment  of certain  intoxicated                                                              
persons;  allowing   a  physician  assistant  or   advanced  nurse                                                              
practitioner  to certify  the need  for emergency  treatment as  a                                                              
result of intoxication; and providing for an effective date."                                                                   
     MOVED SCS CSHB 115(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 132(2d RLS)(efd am)                                                                                       
"An  Act relating  to the  possession, distribution,  importation,                                                              
and transportation  of alcohol in  a local option  area; requiring                                                              
liquor license  applicants to submit fingerprints  for the purpose                                                              
of conducting  a criminal history  background check,  and relating                                                              
to  the use  of  criminal  justice  information by  the  Alcoholic                                                              
Beverage Control  Board; relating to  the offenses of  operating a                                                              
motor  vehicle,  aircraft,  or watercraft  while  intoxicated  and                                                              
refusal  to take a  breath test;  relating to  implied consent  to                                                              
take a  chemical test; relating  to presumptions arising  from the                                                              
amount of  alcohol in  a person's breath  or blood; and  providing                                                              
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
     MOVED CSHB 132(2 RLS) (efd am) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                            
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 106(L&C) am                                                                                               
"An  Act  relating   to  the  authorizations  for   certain  state                                                              
financial   institutions  of  certain   powers  and   limitations;                                                              
relating to  confidential records  of depositors and  customers of                                                              
certain  financial institutions;  relating to  the examination  of                                                              
certain  institutions subject  to AS  06; relating  to the  Alaska                                                              
Banking Code,  Mutual Savings  Bank Act,  Alaska Small  Loans Act,                                                              
and Alaska  Credit Union  Act; amending Rule  45, Alaska  Rules of                                                              
Civil  Procedure,  Rules  17  and 37,  Alaska  Rules  of  Criminal                                                              
Procedure, and  Rule 24,  Alaska Bar Rules;  and providing  for an                                                              
effective date."                                                                                                                
     MOVED SCS CSHB 106(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 152(RLS)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating to brewpub licenses; and providing for an                                                                      
effective date."                                                                                                                
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 184(JUD) am                                                                                               
"An Act relating to insurance; amending Rule 402, Alaska Rules of                                                               
Evidence; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
HB 115 - See HESS minutes dated 4/27/01 and 5/5/01.                                                                             
HB 132 - See Judiciary minutes dated 5/5/01.                                                                                    
HB 106 - See Judiciary minutes dated 5/2/01, 5/4/01 and 5/5/01.                                                                 
HB 152 - See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 5/1/01 and                                                                        
          Judiciary minutes dated 5/5/01                                                                                        
HB 184 - See Judiciary minutes dated 5/4/01 and 5/5/01                                                                          
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
Senator Donny Olsen                                                                                                             
Alaska State Capitol Room 510                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
Angela Tillery                                                                                                                  
Anchorage, AK 99515                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 115                                                                                  
Kathleen Wedermeyer                                                                                                             
Fairbanks, AK 99701                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 115                                                                                  
Tom Swanson                                                                                                                     
Anchorage, AK 99508                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 115                                                                                       
Mr. Terry Elder, Director                                                                                                       
Division of Banking, Securities and Corporations                                                                                
Department of Community and Economic Development                                                                                
P.O. Box 110807                                                                                                                 
Juneau, AK 998                                                                                                                  
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 01-01-33, SIDE A                                                                                                         
Number 001                                                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN  ROBIN  TAYLOR  called  the  Senate  Judiciary  Committee                                                            
meeting  to  order  at 1:45  p.m.  Chairman  Taylor  and  Senators                                                              
Cowdery  and Therriault  were present.  Senator  Ellis arrived  at                                                              
1:47  p.m.   Co-chairman  Donley   was  absent.  Chairman   Taylor                                                              
announced the first order of business was HB 115.                                                                               
        HB 115-EMERGENCY COMMITMENT ORDERS AND TREATMENT                                                                    
SENATOR DONNY OLSON, cross sponsor  for HB 115, testified that the                                                              
problems  associated  with  alcohol   abuse  in  Alaska  are  well                                                              
documented  and this  bill would  make it  possible for  mid-level                                                              
practitioners,   advanced   nurse  practitioners   and   physician                                                              
assistants (PA) in  particular, to have the opportunity  to commit                                                              
those who  chronically  abuse the  use of alcohol  to a  treatment                                                              
When  an   intoxicated  individual   must  be  transported   great                                                              
distances  to reach  a  hospital for  examination  by a  physician                                                              
before they  can be admitted to  a treatment program,  enough time                                                              
may have  passed that the alcohol  in their blood stream  may have                                                              
metabolized to  the point that they  do not look or act  drunk and                                                              
their blood  alcohol level may  be within acceptable  limits. When                                                              
this happens,  individuals who may  be in need of  treatment might                                                              
be  turned away.  HB  115 allows  the  first responders  to  admit                                                              
intoxicated individuals to treatment programs.                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR  said he had received  some criticism of  the bill                                                              
stemming from  the concern  that mid  level practitioners  may not                                                              
have  the  training,   experience  and  background   to  make  the                                                              
necessary diagnosis for commitment.                                                                                             
Number 304                                                                                                                      
SENATOR OLSON responded  that the concern is valid  for those just                                                              
out  of  training  but  he personally  knows  of  many  mid  lever                                                              
practitioners, both physician assistants  and nurse practitioners,                                                              
who  are  as capable  as  and  show better  judgment  than  rookie                                                              
medical doctors.  Because physician assistants  have collaborative                                                              
agreements  with medical  doctors and  any questionable  decisions                                                              
reflect on  that doctor,  such agreements would  not be  formed if                                                              
the doctor did not have confidence in that health care provider.                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR then  asked whether the bill had  been modified in                                                              
other committees.                                                                                                               
SENATOR OLSON responded that the  original bill allowed additional                                                              
types of health care providers to make commitment decisions.                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked whether emergency  medical technicians (EMT)                                                              
were included originally.                                                                                                       
SENATOR OLSON acknowledged that EMTs  and marriage counselors were                                                              
originally  included and  now  the bill  is  limited to  physician                                                              
assistants and nurse practitioners.                                                                                             
SENATOR  THERRIAULT asked  if  a judge  makes  the final  decision                                                              
after the written application for admission is made.                                                                            
SENATOR  OLSON  said that  was  correct.  Even a  physician  needs                                                              
judicial agreement  in cases of involuntary commitment.  As a past                                                              
member of  the medical board,  he knows that physician  assistants                                                              
who have  recently finished  school are not  sent to  rural Alaska                                                              
immediately.  Physician  assistants  are better  trained  than  in                                                              
previous years and are well controlled.                                                                                         
Number 609                                                                                                                      
ANGELA TILLERY  testified via  teleconference from Anchorage  that                                                              
she  is opposed  to  involuntary commitment  for  any reason.  Her                                                              
beliefs  are based  on  two separate  cases  that she  went on  to                                                              
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR told  the witness  this bill  is for  involuntary                                                              
commitment for  intoxicated individuals  and her case  models were                                                              
not applicable to the legislation.                                                                                              
MS.  TILLERY  said she  understood  that  but  she is  opposed  to                                                              
involuntary commitment for any reason.  The court or family should                                                              
make the decision.                                                                                                              
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR  reminded her  that  the  courts make  the  final                                                              
decision in any case.                                                                                                           
KATHLEEN  WEDERMEYER,  first  stated  that there  should  be  more                                                              
opportunity for public  testimony. She thought the  bill was still                                                              
worded too  generally. It  allows PAs  and nurse practitioners  to                                                              
sign off  on commitment  forms in  urban areas  where there  is no                                                              
shortage of medical doctors who could  make the decision. Although                                                              
supposedly  intended  for  use  in rural  areas,  this  is  stated                                                              
nowhere in the bill.                                                                                                            
Next she questioned whether there  would be a judge available in a                                                              
village  that  didn't even  have  a  doctor.  In her  opinion,  an                                                              
advanced nurse  practitioner or  physician assistant  should never                                                              
have the authority to sign 30 day commitment forms.                                                                             
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR  replied that commitments  are not made  without a                                                              
court hearing.                                                                                                                  
MS.  WEDERMEYER   responded  that   that  is   only  for   30  day                                                              
commitments.  For  48 hour  to  10  day  commitments there  is  no                                                              
hearing.  Short term  commitment  papers are  "rubber stamped";  a                                                              
judge's signature is obtained via fax or over the telephone.                                                                    
TOM  SWANSON testified  against HB  115  for the  same reasons  as                                                              
those  stated   above.  He  wanted   the  steps   for  involuntary                                                              
commitment  outlined  and asked  whether  the individual  had  any                                                              
rights at all once they were committed.                                                                                         
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR said his concerns  are addressed in current Alaska                                                              
law. The conditions  for commitment are carefully  thought out and                                                              
have  met   constitutional  challenge.  This   legislation  simply                                                              
changes who may sign the initial application.                                                                                   
SENATOR  THERRIAULT asked  whether the  court is  involved in  any                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR  explained that  the court is  not involved  on an                                                              
emergency basis.                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON disagreed with the  accuracy of some of the previous                                                              
testimony.  He said  that  there are  72 hour  holds  that may  be                                                              
placed but  a judge must agree.  In his rural  medical experience,                                                              
there was  not enough  time to deal  with intoxicated  individuals                                                              
when  they were  in  an intoxicated  state  in  addition to  other                                                              
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR  called for  further  testimony  and received  no                                                              
response. He asked for the pleasure of the committee.                                                                           
SENATOR  COWDERY moved  SCS  CSHB 115  (HES)  from committee  with                                                              
individual recommendations.                                                                                                     
There being no objection, SCS CSHB  115 (HES) moved from committee                                                              
with individual recommendations.                                                                                                
            HB 132-ALCOHOL:LOCAL OPTION/DWI/LICENSING                                                                       
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR   announced  that  there  had   been  significant                                                              
previous  testimony  on this  bill  commonly  referred  to as  the                                                              
bootleg bill.                                                                                                                   
He called for the pleasure of the committee.                                                                                    
SENATOR  COWDERY  moved  HB 132  from  committee  with  individual                                                              
There being  no objection, CSHB  132(2   RLS) (efd am)  moved from                                                              
committee with individual recommendations.                                                                                      
                  HB 106-FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS                                                                             
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR  announced that there  were two amendments  in the                                                              
committee  packets. He  asked for  a  motion on  the first,  which                                                              
delays the  effective date  of the  credit card implementation  to                                                              
July 1, 2002.                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  COWDERY   moved  amendment  1  and  it   passed  with  no                                                              
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR called for Mr. Elder to examine amendment 2.                                                                    
MR. Terry ELDER  examined amendment 2 and stated  the division had                                                              
no problem accepting the amendment.                                                                                             
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR  called for additional discussion  or objection to                                                              
amendment 2. There being none, amendment 2 passed.                                                                              
He asked for the pleasure of the committee.                                                                                     
SENATOR  COWDERY  moved  HB 106  from  committee  with  individual                                                              
There being no objection, SCS CSHB 106 (JUD) moved from committee                                                               
with individual recommendations.                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR announced HB 184 and HB 152 would be heard the                                                                  
following day.                                                                                                                  
The meeting was adjourned at 2:12 p.m.                                                                                          

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