Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/11/1996 02:55 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
               SENATE LABOR AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE                             
                        April 11,  1996                                        
                           2:55 P.M.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Senator Tim Kelly, Chairman                                                   
 Senator John Torgerson, Vice Chairman                                         
 Senator Mike Miller                                                           
 Senator Judy Salo                                                             
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Senator Jim Duncan                                                            
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 359(JUD) am                                             
 "An Act relating to the appointment and confirmation process for              
 members of certain boards, commissions, and similar bodies;                   
 relating to terms of certain appointees; and providing for an                 
 effective date."                                                              
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 216                                                           
 "An Act relating to fees or assessment of costs for certain                   
 services provided by state government, including hearing costs                
 related to the real estate surety fund; fees for authorization to             
 operate a postsecondary educational institution or for an agent's             
 permit to perform services for a postsecondary educational                    
 institution; administrative fees for self-insurers in workers'                
 compensation; business license fees; fees for activities related to           
 coastal zone management, training relating to emergency management            
 response, regulation of  pesticides and broadcast chemicals, and              
 subdivision plans for sewage waste disposal or treatment; and                 
 providing for an effective date."                                             
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 480(HES)                                                
 "An Act relating to physician assistants."                                    
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 450(FIN)                                                
 "An Act relating to trademarks; and providing for an effective                
 date."                                                                        
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO.  284(FIN)                                               
 "An Act relating to the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture             
 Bank."                                                                        
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 60(HES)                                                 
 "An Act relating to impairment rating guides used in evaluation of            
 certain workers' compensation claims."                                        
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 73(L&C)                                                 
 "An Act relating to licensure of manicurists."                                
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
                                                                               
 HB 359 - See Labor & Commerce minutes dated 4/9/96.                           
                                                                               
 SB 216 - See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 3/7/96.                         
                                                                               
 HB 480 - No previous action to consider.                                      
                                                                               
 HB 450 - No previous action to consider.                                      
                                                                               
 HB 284 - No previous action to consider.                                      
                                                                               
 HB 60 - No previous action to consider.                                       
                                                                               
 HB 73 - No previous action to consider.                                       
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
 Representative Gene Therriault                                                
 State Capitol Bldg.                                                           
 Juneau, AK 99811-1182                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Sponsor of HB 480.                                     
                                                                               
 Jack Heesch                                                                   
 Alaska Academy of Physician Assistants                                        
 751 Old Richardson Hwy, #200                                                  
 Fairbanks, AK 99701                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported HB 480.                                      
                                                                               
 Jerry Reinwand                                                                
 Blue Cross                                                                    
 P.O. Box 327, MS 355                                                          
 Seattle, WA 98111-0327                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposed HB 480.                                        
                                                                               
 Katie Campbell                                                                
 Division of Insurance                                                         
 Department of Commerce and Economic Development                               
 P.O. Box 110805                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0805                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported HB 480.                                      
                                                                               
 Wilda Whitaker, Staff                                                         
 Representative Gene Therriault                                                
 State Capitol Bldg.                                                           
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Staff to sponsor of HB 450.                            
                                                                               
 Amy Daugherty, Staff                                                          
 Representative Alan Austerman                                                 
 State Capitol Bldg.                                                           
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Staff to sponsor of HB 284.                            
                                                                               
 Jonathan Sperber, Staff                                                       
 Representative Bettye Davis                                                   
 State Capitol Bldg.                                                           
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Staff to sponsor of HB 60.                             
                                                                               
 Paul Grossi, Director                                                         
 Division of Workers' Compensation                                             
 P.O. Box 25512                                                                
 Juneau, AK 99802-5512                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 60.                                       
                                                                               
 Representative Brice                                                          
 State Capitol Bldg.                                                           
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Sponsor of HB 73.                                      
                                                                               
 Mary Jo Burns                                                                 
 Douglas, AK                                                                   
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on HB 73.                                    
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
  TAPE 96-26, SIDE A                                                           
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
          HB 359 APPOINTMENT PROCESS FOR BDS & COMM'NS                        
                                                                              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KELLY called the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee                 
 meeting to order at 2:55 p.m. and announced  HB 359  to be up for             
 consideration.  He asked his staff, Sherman Ernouf, if                        
 Representative Porter concurred with the committee substitute.  He            
 answered that he did.                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR TORGERSON moved to adopt the CS to HB 359.  There were no             
 objections and it was so ordered.                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR TORGERSON moved to pass SCSHB 359 from committee with                 
 individual recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so           
 ordered.                                                                      
                                                                               
          SB 216 OMNIBUS STATE FEES & COST ASSESSMENTS                        
                                                                              
 SENATOR KELLY announced   SB 216  to be up for consideration.                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR TORGERSON moved to adopt the CS to SB 216.  There were no             
 objections and it was so ordered.                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR TORGERSON moved to pass CSSB 216 from committee with                  
 individual recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so           
 ordered.                                                                      
                                                                               
                  HB 480 PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS                                 
                                                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT, sponsor, said this legislation clarified           
 the process that is currently in place for granting a physician               
 assistant the authority to practice in the State and to prohibit              
 unfair insurance discrimination against them.                                 
                                                                               
 JACK HEESCH, Alaska Academy of Physician Assistants, said it is his           
 understanding from the Division of Insurance that inclusion of the            
 physician assistants on the nondiscrimination list does not                   
 guarantee anybody a billing rate.  He explained that insurance                
 companies pay what is usual and customary.  People who work for a             
 doctor in a clinic and bill for physician services include the                
 physician, a physician assistant, an advanced nurse practitioner,             
 a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, an audiologist,              
 and a speech pathologist.  These bill at what is called a physician           
 service rate.                                                                 
                                                                               
 The truth of the matter, he said, is that some physician assistants           
 who see a patient in a doctors office bill as a physician provided            
 service at the same rate the doctor does.  In other cases they bill           
 at a lesser rate and in many cases at a substantially lesser rate.            
                                                                               
 The bottom line is AS21.36.090 (d) has nothing to do with what                
 anyone bills.  It says that if a patient walks into a doctors                 
 office, he doesn't have to be concerned if his insurance covers               
 seeing a physician assistant.  It doesn't dictate the rate which is           
 up to the insurance companies to figure out.                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR KELLY asked if anyone in the room objected to that                    
 statement.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 165                                                                    
                                                                               
 JERRY REINWAND, Blue Cross, said the problem is that no one can               
 really explain what the antidiscrimination statute really does.               
 It's working because the Division has an interpretation that it               
 will work in a certain direction.  If this interpretation is                  
 correct, Mr. Heesch might be correct.  No one knows.  Their concern           
 is with what the statute really does and what does adding physician           
 assistants do, what are the cost and policy implications.  He                 
 thought it was a better idea to back off on this bill and let them            
 work with the Division of Insurance over the interim to define what           
 it really does before they add more to it.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 225                                                                    
                                                                               
 KATIE CAMPBELL, Division of Insurance, said they have historically            
 supported this section of the bill.  She said the interpretation              
 they have given this discrimination section allows for payment of             
 a service if a provider is licensed to provide a service under our            
 statutes.  Whoever is on that list can't be discriminated for a               
 service.  It's not their interpretation that this is setting a fee.           
 The question has never come up, there are no court cases, there               
 have been no questions to the Division regarding that portion of              
 the bill.                                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. HEESCH said they would like the committee to add physician                
 assistants language that was found in SB 100.                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR TORGERSON moved to add that language.  There was discussion           
 and SENATOR KELLY said they would hold the bill until Tuesday and             
 directed staff to add the physician assistant language and the                
 intent to not set fees.                                                       
                                                                               
                  HB 450 ALASKA TRADEMARK ACT                                 
                                                                              
 SENATOR KELLY announced  HB 450  to be up for consideration.                  
                                                                               
 WILDA WHITAKER, Staff to Representative Therriault, sponsor, read             
 his sponsor statement saying that this legislation is intended to             
 update the State Trademark Act and modeled it after the Trademark             
 bill written by the International Trademark Association.  This                
 legislation was introduced at the request of the Division of                  
 Banking, Securities, and Corporations.  It is needed to strengthen            
 the intellectual property rights for Alaska's business community.             
                                                                               
 SENATOR KELLY asked if there was any opposition to the bill.  MS.             
 WHITAKER replied that there was none.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 301                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER moved to pass HB 450 from committee with individual            
 recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so ordered.             
                                                                               
        HB 284 AK COMMERCIAL FISHING & AGRICULTURE BANK                       
                                                                              
 SENATOR KELLY announced  HB 284  to be up for consideration.                  
                                                                               
 AMY DAUGHERTY, Staff to Representative Alan Austerman, sponsor, of            
 HB 284 said it changes AS44.81 and AS16.43, containing the enabling           
 language of the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank.               
 Most of the changes in SB 284 are for clarification.                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR KELLY asked where the physical headquarters of CFAB was               
 located.  MS. DAUGHERTY answered that it was in Anchorage.  She               
 said that by the year 2002, CFAB will have retired all but one                
 million dollars of their debt.                                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR KELLY said he wanted to hold the bill until they talk to Ed           
 Crane of CFAB.  He directed staff also to check on the difference             
 between existing and proposed language and said they would bring              
 the bill up next Tuesday.                                                     
                                                                               
        HB  60 IMPAIRMENT RATING GUIDES FOR WORKERS COMP                      
                                                                              
 SENATOR KELLY announced  HB 60  to be up for consideration.                   
                                                                               
 JONATHON SPERBER, Staff to Representative Bettye Davis, read her              
 sponsor statement.                                                            
                                                                               
 PAUL GROSSI, Director, Workers Compensation, said they supported HB           
 60.                                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR TORGERSON moved to pass HB 60 from committee with                     
 individual recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so           
 ordered.                                                                      
                                                                               
                HB  73 LICENSURE OF MANICURISTS                               
                                                                              
 SENATOR KELLY announced  HB 73  to be up for consideration.                   
                                                                               
 Number 375                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE, sponsor, said HB 73 adds to the list of             
 jobs that the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers oversees is the               
 practice of manicure, mostly for health concerns.  Alaska is one of           
 the eight states nationwide that have no oversight whatsoever on              
 the industry.                                                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR KELLY asked if the apprenticeship requirement was existing            
 law.  REPRESENTATIVE BRICE replied that other states require a                
 certain number of hours before a person can be licensed and this is           
 usually done within the course of their education so those                    
 requirements are addressed through the schooling they receive.                
                                                                               
 SENATOR KELLY asked if there was a grandfather clause.                        
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE replied yes there was in section 20.                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR KELLY asked why this was needed.  REPRESENTATIVE BRICE                
 replied that a number of constituents were concerned over the                 
 public health issue.                                                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR KELLY asked if there was a requirement for schooling.                 
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE answered yes and those standards are                     
 established by the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers.                         
                                                                               
 MARY JO BURNS, Douglas resident, said her daughter's concern was              
 the schools of cosmetology would be the only place to learn how to            
 do this.  It didn't take very long to learn and a school would cost           
 money and take time.                                                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR KELLY noted that an apprenticeship is 350 hours.                      
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said that student permits are allowed so they            
 can practice and receive funds from that.                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR TORGERSON asked on page 7, line 29 if someone currently in            
 the practice has 180 days to comply with the act which would mean             
 that she has to prove she has 350 hours of work.  REPRESENTATIVE              
 BRICE said that referred to people who do not currently hold a                
 license recognized by the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers.  Those           
 who hold a license recognized by the Board of Barbers and                     
 Hairdressers basically show their license.                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR KELLY asked if there was such a thing as a manicuring                 
 license right now?  REPRESENTATIVE BRICE answered no.                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR TORGERSON said it didn't sound to him like it was a                   
 grandfathering; it sounded like they had 180 days to get show that            
 you have the hours.  REPRESENTATIVE BRICE replied that if you                 
 practice 350 hours, then you are eligible to take the test.                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR TORGERSON asked how you can prove you've worked the hours.            
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE answered that a pay stub might be one way and            
 that's why they also have testing.  The Board is going to have to             
 decide what level of evidence is adequate.                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TORGERSON asked if people who already have a hairdressing             
 and manicure license will have to be licensed again.                          
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE replied that they could have a five or six               
 month waiting period.  SENATOR TORGERSON said he would prefer                 
 language that says the current license would be in effect until the           
 new one is issued.  REPRESENTATIVE BRICE agreed that was a good               
 idea.                                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR KELLY said he thought it was a good idea to learn about               
 sanitation and health, but he also didn't want this to develop into           
 something where someone has to get a student loan to get enrolled             
 in cosmetology school for six months.  He said he agreed with the             
 substance of the bill and said they would work on it and bring it             
 before the committee next week.                                               
 SENATOR KELLY adjourned the meeting at 3:38 p.m.                              
                                                                               

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