Legislature(2005 - 2006)BELTZ 211

02/14/2006 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 177 PRACTICE OF PSYCHOLOGY TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 177(HES) Out of Committee
*+ SB 255 OPTOMETRY: EXTEND BD/ LIC. ENDORSEMENT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 255(L&C) Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled,
Including But Not Limited to:
+= SB 244 NO DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ACUPUNCTURIST TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 244 Out of Committee
+= SB 222 PROTECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 222(L&C) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          SENATE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                        
                       February 14, 2006                                                                                        
                           1:35 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Con Bunde, Chair                                                                                                        
Senator Ralph Seekins, Vice Chair                                                                                               
Senator Ben Stevens                                                                                                             
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
Senator Bettye Davis                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
SENATE BILL NO. 244                                                                                                             
"An   Act   prohibiting    unfair   discrimination   against   an                                                               
acupuncturist;  amending  the  definition  of  'provider'  as  it                                                               
relates  to  authorized  collective  negotiations  by  physicians                                                               
affecting  the rights  of providers  under health  benefit plans;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
     MOVED SB 244 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 177                                                                                                             
"An Act eliminating the requirement  that persons using titles or                                                               
descriptions   of    services   that   incorporate    the   terms                                                               
'psychotherapy,'  'psychotherapeutic,'  or  'psychotherapist'  be                                                               
licensed  by   the  Board   of  Psychologist   and  Psychological                                                               
Associate Examiners."                                                                                                           
     MOVED CSSB 177(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 222                                                                                                             
"An  Act  relating to  breaches  of  security involving  personal                                                               
information,  consumer report  security freezes,  consumer credit                                                               
monitoring,  credit  accuracy,   protection  of  social  security                                                               
numbers, disposal  of records, factual declarations  of innocence                                                               
after identity  theft, filing  police reports  regarding identity                                                               
theft,  and furnishing  consumer credit  header information;  and                                                               
amending Rule 60, Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure."                                                                             
     MOVED CSSB 222(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 255                                                                                                             
"An  Act  extending  the  termination   date  for  the  Board  of                                                               
Examiners  in  Optometry;   amending  the  licensing  endorsement                                                               
provisions  for  optometrists;  and providing  for  an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
     MOVED CSSB 255(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 244                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: NO DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ACUPUNCTURIST                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) WAGONER                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
01/19/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/19/06       (S)       L&C, HES                                                                                               
02/07/06       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/07/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/07/06       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/14/06       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 177                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PRACTICE OF PSYCHOLOGY                                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES BY REQUEST                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
04/15/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/15/05       (S)       HES, L&C                                                                                               
04/20/05       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/20/05       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
01/25/06       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
01/25/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/25/06       (S)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
02/01/06       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/01/06       (S)       -- Rescheduled to 02/03/06 --                                                                          
02/03/06       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/03/06       (S)       -- Rescheduled from 02/01/06 --                                                                        
02/06/06       (S)       HES RPT CS  2DP 1NR          NEW TITLE                                                                 
02/06/06       (S)       DP: DYSON, ELTON                                                                                       
02/06/06       (S)       NR: GREEN                                                                                              
02/14/06       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 222                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PROTECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) THERRIAULT, GUESS                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
01/09/06       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 12/30/05                                                                              
01/09/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/09/06       (S)       L&C, JUD                                                                                               
01/24/06       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
01/24/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/24/06       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/14/06       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 255                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: OPTOMETRY: EXTEND BD/ LIC. ENDORSEMENT                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF LEG BUDGET & AUDIT                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
01/30/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/30/06       (S)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
02/14/06       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THOMAS WAGONER                                                                                                          
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 244.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
KATIE CAMPBELL                                                                                                                  
Life and Health Actuary                                                                                                         
Division of Insurance                                                                                                           
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development                                                                        
PO Box 110800                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK 99811-0800                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 244.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MELANIE MILHORN, Director                                                                                                       
Division of Retirement and Benefits                                                                                             
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
PO Box 110200                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0200                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 244.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. FREDA MILLER                                                                                                                
Aetna Representative                                                                                                            
Juneau AK 99801                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 244.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRED DYSON                                                                                                              
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 177.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DAVE STANCLIFF                                                                                                                  
Staff to Senator Therriault                                                                                                     
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 222 for co-sponsor.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
WAYNE LEIGHTY                                                                                                                   
Staff to Senator Guess                                                                                                          
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 222 for co-sponsor.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
STEVE CLEARY                                                                                                                    
Alaska Public Interest Research Group (AKPIRG)                                                                                  
Anchorage AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 222.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT                                                                                                              
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Co-sponsor of SB 222 and sponsor of SB 255.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GRETCHEN GUESS                                                                                                          
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Co-sponsor of SB 222.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TOM MAHER                                                                                                                       
Staff to Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 255 for the sponsor.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
RICK URION, Director                                                                                                            
Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing,                                                                  
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development                                                                        
PO Box 110800                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK 99811-0800                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 255.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
PAT DAVIDSON                                                                                                                    
Division of Legislative Audit                                                                                                   
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 255.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CON BUNDE called the Senate Labor and Commerce Standing                                                                 
Committee meeting to order at 1:35:24 PM. Present were Senators                                                               
Johnny Ellis,  Ralph Seekins,  Ben Stevens  and Chair  Con Bunde.                                                               
Senator Bettye Davis arrived at 1:36.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:36:19 PM                                                                                                                    
         SB 244-NO DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ACUPUNCTURIST                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CON BUNDE announced SB 244 to be up for consideration.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THOMAS WAGONER,  sponsor of SB 244, explained  that AS 21                                                               
only  applies to  employers not  large enough  to fund  their own                                                               
health plans. This  bill does not apply  to individual insurance,                                                               
self-funded  employer  groups,   government  programs,  Medicare,                                                               
military, federal employees or Medicaid.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:37:50 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR RALPH  SEEKINS asked  for examples  of group  health care                                                               
service in Alaska.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:39:49 PM at ease 1:40:06 PM                                                                                               
KATIE CAMPBELL, Life and Health  Actuary, Department of Commerce,                                                               
Community  & Economic  Development,  replied that  the only  non-                                                               
profit  health organization  Alaska  has is  Primera; it  doesn't                                                               
have HMO's.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS asked if this bill would only apply to Primera.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. CAMPBELL  replied no; it  would apply to all  health insurers                                                               
like Aetna.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:41:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BUNDE asked  if the fiscal note would change  with this new                                                               
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WAGONER  replied yes,  the  Division  of Retirement  and                                                               
Benefits fiscal note would change and  join the packet on its way                                                               
through the legislature.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:43:15 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS  said he heard  this should save the  state money                                                               
since acupuncture can address some  medical problems with cheaper                                                               
treatments.  He  wanted to  hear  what  the allopathic  community                                                               
thought about it.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:46:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEN STEVENS asked if  there would be an additional fiscal                                                               
note to the one from 2/7.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILHORN replied yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEN STEVENS asked:                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     In the analysis of the  fiscal note provided on 2/7/06,                                                                    
     it  says, 'Adding  this provider  type to  the list  of                                                                    
     covered  providers  under  AS 21.06  would  not  expand                                                                    
     additional coverage  for their services without  a plan                                                                    
     modification.' So,  am I interpreting that  to say that                                                                    
     even if  we pass this,  unless the provider  approves a                                                                    
     plan  modification   that  it's   not  going   to  cost                                                                    
     anything?                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.   FREDA  MILLER,   Health  Benefits   Manager,  Division   of                                                               
Retirement  and  Benefits,  replied  that that  fiscal  note  was                                                               
prepared   before  she   learned  additional   information  after                                                               
speaking  with their  third-party  administrator  for the  health                                                               
plans.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:48:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SEEKINS  moved SB  244  from  committee with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  with the understanding  that the  new fiscal                                                               
note would catch  up with it in the next  committee. Senators Ben                                                               
Stevens, Davis, Ellis, Seekins and  Chair Bunde voted yea; and SB                                                               
244 was moved from committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:49:19 PM                                                                                                                    
           SB 222-PROTECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE announced SB 222 to  be up for consideration and then                                                               
noted he would set it aside to wait for the bill's sponsor.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:49:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                 SB 177-PRACTICE OF PSYCHOLOGY                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
CHAIR CON BUNDE announced SB 177 to be up for consideration.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRED  DYSON, sponsor,  said the  administration requested                                                               
this  bill  allows  access to  third-party  payments.  Currently,                                                               
professional  care providers  who are  providing very  legitimate                                                               
care for patients can't use  the titles that federal law requires                                                               
for  them to  receive Medicaid  payments and  those professionals                                                               
supported  adding  the  word "psychoanalyst"  to  the  code.  The                                                               
department is  already doing  what the  federal law  requires and                                                               
this brings code into compliance with need and practice.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE asked if there was any opposition to the bill.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON replied no.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:53:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR RALPH SEEKINS moved to  pass CSSB 177(HES) from committee                                                             
individual  recommendations and  attached  fiscal note.  Senators                                                               
Ellis, Davis,  Ben Stevens,  Seekins, and  Chair Bunde  voted yea                                                               
and CSSB 177(HES) moved from committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:53:49 PM                                                                                                                    
           SB 222-PROTECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
CHAIR   CON  BUNDE   announced  SB   222  to   be  back   up  for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR RALPH SEEKINS moved to adopt CS SB 222(L&C), version F.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR JOHNNY ELLIS objected for discussion purposes.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. WAYNE LEIGHTY, staff to  Senator Therriault, co-sponsor of SB                                                               
222,  testified  that  the  first  change  adds  law  enforcement                                                               
agencies  to  Alaska's  Department   of  Public  Safety  that  is                                                               
authorized to  put a  temporary hold  on a  "Notice of  Breach of                                                               
Security" while an investigation  is performed. Item two conforms                                                               
language to  current California law regarding  how documents with                                                               
social security numbers on them are mailed.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Item three  allows for situations  when collection  or submission                                                               
of a social  security number is under state or  federal law. Item                                                               
four  adds language  to  the social  security  number section  to                                                               
clarify   that   a   business  can   require   other   forms   of                                                               
identification to verify the identity  of a person they are doing                                                               
business  with.  Item five,  Article  8,  is  a new  section  and                                                               
requires  truncation  of a  credit  card  number on  all  printed                                                               
receipts.  Under   the  general  provisions  in   Article  9  "or                                                               
conflicts" is deleted and states  that federal law is preemptive.                                                               
He said they continue to work with the stakeholders                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELLIS removed his objection and version F was adopted.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:00:35 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BUNDE asked if a driver's license could still be used.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. DAVE  STANCLIFF, staff to  Senator Therriault,  co-sponsor of                                                               
SB 222,  replied yes,  but added that  industry is  finding other                                                               
ways to verify identifications,  which would give those companies                                                               
the competitive edge.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:02:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS  said he  wouldn't support  this bill  unless the                                                               
state was  held to  the same  accountability standard  as private                                                               
industry.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LEIGHTY  informed the  committee  that  it is  possible  for                                                               
individuals  to   get  credit   reports  and   background  checks                                                               
completed without using social security numbers now.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BUNDE  said the  state  is  issuing I.D.s  without  social                                                               
security numbers.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:05:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS  said he thought  this bill would change  the way                                                               
he analyzes  credit in his  automobile dealership.  But customers                                                               
should still  know that their  information must be  accurate with                                                               
the  understanding  that if  it  isn't  accurate, it  constitutes                                                               
fraud and has a penalty that goes with it.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
STEVE  CLEARY, Alaska  Public Interest  Research Group  (AKPIRG),                                                               
supported  SB 222.  He said  that the  Choice Point  Incorporated                                                               
Company  leaked  a  lot  of  personal  information  that  exposed                                                               
consumers to  identify theft  about a year  ago. Since  that time                                                               
more than 52  million people have been put in  danger of identify                                                               
theft because of  security breaches. Alaska topped  the nation in                                                               
fraud  complaints   last  year  with  249   per  100,000  persons                                                               
according to  a Federal Trade  Commission (FTC) report  that also                                                               
states  that identify  theft has  topped the  list of  nationwide                                                               
complaints  for the  sixth year  in a  row. The  average consumer                                                               
spends  about 175  hours of  their own  time clearing  their name                                                               
after an identity theft.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CLEARY  said the  two  most  important  measures in  SB  222                                                               
mandate  that  consumers be  notified  after  a security  breach,                                                               
which  would allow  them  to freeze  their  credit reports.  This                                                               
would at the very least minimize  or even eliminate the danger of                                                               
identity theft.  Twenty-seven states  have filed  security freeze                                                               
bills and 12 states have these laws now.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:13:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SEEKINS asked  if the  biggest threat  is being  able to                                                               
access  someone's  credit  report, people  leave  their  personal                                                               
information  in  many places  during  the  course  of a  day.  He                                                               
related that  for him to  rent a car in  Orlando, he had  to show                                                               
his  driver's  license  that  has  his  social  security  number,                                                               
address and name on it. "With  those three things, you can really                                                               
get into someone's - you can steal their identity."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:18:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  agreed that  it  gets  easier every  day  to                                                               
access people's  information and  lawmakers must  try to  keep up                                                               
with the new ways.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:20:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEN  STEVENS agreed  with  Senator  Seekins that  public                                                               
entities have  to be held  accountable the same as  private ones.                                                               
He related how  he banks, invests and pays  everything online and                                                               
he went through an exercise to see  how easy it would be to steal                                                               
his  identity and  he easily  accessed  his personal  information                                                               
from a Virginia  county tax roll, a Mat-Su borough  tax roll, the                                                               
Anchorage municipality  tax roll  and on the  state web  page for                                                               
the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission.  So, where he actively                                                               
transacts in money, he couldn't get  it, but in all the places he                                                               
did find it, it was related to a government entity.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:22:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELLIS  agreed  that  government must  be  held  to  high                                                               
standards. He  asked if the  administration had indicated  it was                                                               
heading in that direction.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS also  agreed that the government has to  be held to                                                               
the same  standard as  private industry and  stated that  she had                                                               
received a  three-page letter from the  Attorney General's Office                                                               
saying that, while  the state might have instances  when it needs                                                               
to  get a  social security  number, there  are many  instances in                                                               
which it gathers social security  numbers without a legal reason.                                                               
She said, "We're trying to parse through those right now."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Other issues have  arisen such as if the state  should be open to                                                               
civil suits or whether it should  be held to the same standard in                                                               
all instances. She said:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     It  is  our  belief  that  we  shouldn't  differentiate                                                                    
     between business  and government. It's people  who have                                                                    
     our  personal   information  and  those  will   be  the                                                                    
     discussions  that   we're  going  to  have   in  Senate                                                                    
     Judiciary.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:24:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS  moved to report  CSSB 222(L&C), version  F, from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
note.  Senators Ellis,  Seekins,  Ben Stevens,  Davis, and  Chair                                                               
Bunde voted yea; and it was so ordered.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:25:33 PM                                                                                                                    
         SB 255-OPTOMETRY: EXTEND BD/ LIC. ENDORSEMENT                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
CHAIR CON BUNDE announced SB 255 to be up for consideration.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TOM MAHER,  staff to  Senator Therriault,  explained that  SB 255                                                               
extends the sunset date for the  Board of Examiners from June 30,                                                               
2006 to June 30, 2014 as per the Legislative Audit's conclusion.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He recapped  that last year  the legislature passed  some changes                                                               
to the sunset process. One  was changing the standard sunset from                                                               
four  years to  not  to exceed  eight,  although the  legislature                                                               
could go with any date it wants.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Two  more  criteria  were  added to  the  auditor's  job  because                                                               
sunsets are becoming  less about eliminating the  entity and more                                                               
about measuring  operational performance. Those criteria  are the                                                               
extent to which the board  or commission has effectively attained                                                               
its objectives, the  efficiency with which it's  operated and the                                                               
extent  to which  the board  or commission  is duplicating  other                                                               
agencies' work.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
On page 7  of the report, recommendation 2,  recommended that the                                                               
legislature  amend  optometry  statutes to  ensure  they  support                                                               
current   license  endorsements   for  the   diagnostic  use   of                                                               
pharmaceutical agents. He explained:                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Currently, language  provides for a  single endorsement                                                                    
     for  both prescribed  and use.  However,  the Board  of                                                                    
     Examiners  in   Optometry  is  issuing  two   types  of                                                                    
     endorsements.  The  first  allows a  practitioner  both                                                                    
     prescribed  and  use   pharmaceutical  agents  and  the                                                                    
     second  type allows  a practitioner  use only.  Current                                                                    
     law  does not  authorize the  use-only endorsement.  SB                                                                    
     255  corrects  this  situation   by  adding  a  section                                                                    
     authorizing   a   use   only   endorsement   and   also                                                                    
     grandfathers in the practitioners  that were given that                                                                    
     endorsement over the years - since, I believe, 1992.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MAHER noted  that the  Department of  Commerce, Community  &                                                               
Economic Development  supported SB 255. The  Board's response was                                                               
not clear and he hoped that would be addressed today. He said,                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     But our  intent with the legislation  is pretty simple.                                                                    
     We want  to change  the law  to make  current practices                                                                    
     legal. We  want to  grandfather license holders  in and                                                                    
     make sure  we don't  leave any practitioners  out. That                                                                    
     could  have  an  impact  on  the  number  of  providers                                                                    
     serving the public and,  hopefully, maximize the number                                                                    
     of practitioners that can practice in Alaska.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:30:58 PM                                                                                                                    
RICK  URION, Director,  Division  of  Corporations, Business  and                                                               
Professional Licensing, supported SB 255.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE moved to adopt Amendment 1 as follows:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     On page 2, line 25 insert a new section to read:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 6 AS 08.72.181(d) is amended to read:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          (d) Before a license may be renewed, the licensee                                                                     
     shall submit  to the  board evidence  of [24  HOURS OF]                                                                    
     postgraduate   continuing   education  instruction   as                                                                    
     prescribed by  regulations of the board.  The board may                                                                    
     specify by  regulation those circumstances  under which                                                                    
     the requirements of this subsection may be waived.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber remaining bill sections.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. URION  stated that the  amendment was suggested by  the board                                                               
and removes the 24-hour requirement  for continuing education and                                                               
allows the department to do that  in regulation, which is how all                                                               
other licensing programs are handled.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BUNDE  asked if  the  regulation  would require  an  equal                                                               
amount of continuing education time as the statute does.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. URION replied yes, but that could be adjusted as necessary.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:32:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SEEKINS asked  if the  department could  set up  his own                                                               
rules and change them whenever it wanted to.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  URION replied  that  they are  required  to have  continuing                                                               
education by  statute, but the  hours are typically set  forth in                                                               
regulation and he  didn't think they would be any  less than what                                                               
they  are  now.    He  said that  all  the  continuing  education                                                               
requirements are consistently being made in regulation.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS said  he  didn't  object to  that,  but the  new                                                               
language  looks like  it would  be allowing  regulation to  trump                                                               
statute.  "So, we  don't  specify  how many  hours  and they  can                                                               
change  it whenever  they want  to." He  wanted to  know why  the                                                               
requirement for  a certain  numbers of  hours was  being deleted,                                                               
since they are providing a guideline of at least 24 hours.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. URION  suggested that the  last sentence could be  deleted if                                                               
Senator Seekins would be more comfortable with that language.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE  said he  wanted Mr.  Stancliff's and  Ms. Davidson's                                                               
reaction to the proposed amendment.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:36:01 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. STANCLIFF  responded that  in general  they are  careful with                                                               
addressing  amendments in  sunset bills  - because  of complaints                                                               
that  some  have become  vehicles  for  too  much. The  chair  of                                                               
Legislative  Budget  and Audit  said,  because  the language  was                                                               
suggested by the  department and because it was  addressed in the                                                               
audit  report and  both  responses from  the  department and  the                                                               
board, he had no opposition  to it. Senator Seekins' question was                                                               
new and that last sentence could be deleted.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAT  DAVIDSON,  Division  of Legislative  Audit,  explained  that                                                               
having  continuing   education  requirements  is   very  typical.                                                               
However, often times minimum hours  are not specified. Typically,                                                               
regulations detailed  hours, particular courses and  that sort of                                                               
thing,  rather  than  statue. Waiving  CPE  requirements  is  not                                                               
totally uncommon  for extended illness and  various other things,                                                               
but is totally  up to the committee whether it  wants to delegate                                                               
that authority to the board.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS moved Amendment 1  to Amendment 1 to delete: "The                                                               
board may  specify by regulation those  circumstances under which                                                               
the requirements  of this subsection  may be waived." He  did not                                                               
think it  was the  legislature's intent to  waive the  ability to                                                               
require continuing education.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There were no objections and Amendment 1 to Amendment 1 was                                                                     
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE asked if anyone objected to adopting Amendment                                                                      
1(am). There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:40:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SEEKINS moved  to report  CSSB  255(L&C) from  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  with  the  forthcoming  fiscal                                                               
note.  Senators Bens  Stevens, Ellis,  Seekins  Davis, and  Chair                                                               
Bunde voted yea; and it was so ordered.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE adjourned the meeting at 2:41:25 PM.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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