Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/16/2002 10:34 AM RLS

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                    
                     SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                                                   
                         April 16, 2002                                                                                         
                           10:34 a.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Randy Phillips, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator John Cowdery, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Rick Halford                                                                                                            
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 4                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to a mandatory exemption  from municipal property                                                              
taxes for  certain residences  and to  an optional exemption  from                                                              
municipal  taxes for residential  property;  and providing  for an                                                              
effective date."                                                                                                                
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 91                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to  information   and  services  available  to                                                              
pregnant women  and other persons;  and ensuring  informed consent                                                              
before an  abortion may be performed,  except in cases  of medical                                                              
emergency."                                                                                                                     
     APPROVED CSSB 91(RLS) FOR CALENDARING                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 223                                                                                      
"An  Act  referencing  the  award of  good  time  and  restricting                                                              
release  on   mandatory  parole  for  prisoners   serving  certain                                                              
sentences  who   fail  to   attain  certain  minimum   educational                                                              
standards; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
     APPROVED SSSB 223 FOR CALENDARING                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 226                                                                                      
"An Act requiring highways to be  designed and constructed so that                                                              
they  will adequately  serve anticipated  traffic  levels for  the                                                              
next 30 years; and providing for an effective date."                                                                            
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 295                                                                                                             
"An  Act  relating  to the  disclosure  of  information  regarding                                                              
delinquent  minors to  certain licensing  agencies; and  providing                                                              
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 302                                                                                                             
"An Act  defining the  term 'mental  health professional'  for the                                                              
purpose of  statutes relating to  the evaluation of  prisoners who                                                              
may need psychological  or psychiatric treatment,  for the purpose                                                              
of statutes relating to the evaluation  of children in need of aid                                                              
and delinquent  minors who  may need  to be  confined in  a secure                                                              
residential  psychiatric   treatment  center  or  who   should  be                                                              
released  from  such  a  center,   for  the  purpose  of  statutes                                                              
requiring certain  professionals to report the possibility  that a                                                              
vulnerable  adult  has  been  abused or  neglected,  and  for  the                                                              
purpose of statutes relating to mental  health civil commitments."                                                              
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 32                                                                                             
Suspending  Rules 24(c), 35,  41(b), and  42(e), Uniform  Rules of                                                              
the  Alaska State  Legislature,  concerning  House  Bill No.  390,                                                              
relating to the Alaska Seafood Marketing  Institute and the salmon                                                              
marketing tax.                                                                                                                  
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 411                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to  physician  assistants;  providing  that  a                                                              
physician assistant  is a health care provider  covered by certain                                                              
laws  relating to  medical malpractice  actions; adding  physician                                                              
assistants  to   the  list  of   providers  against   whom  unfair                                                              
discrimination  relating to  health care  insurance is  prohibited                                                              
and to the list of providers who  can provide proof of disablement                                                              
or handicap for  the purpose of motor vehicle  registration or for                                                              
the purpose  of obtaining  a special  license  plate or a  special                                                              
parking permit; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
     APPROVED FOR CALENDARING                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SB 4 - See  Community & Regional Affairs minutes  dated 2/7/01 and                                                              
2/28/01,  Finance  Report dated  4/5/02  and Rules  minutes  dated                                                              
4/20/01.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SB  91 -  See  HESS minutes  dated  3/14/01, 3/16/01  and  4/2/01,                                                              
Judiciary  minutes dated  4/9/01  and 4/11/01  and Finance  Report                                                              
dated 4/3/02.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SB 223  - See Judiciary minutes  dated 2/11/02 and  Finance Report                                                              
dated 4/3/02.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SB  295 -  See HESS  minutes dated  3/4/02  and Judiciary  minutes                                                              
dated 4/10/02.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SB 302 - See HESS minutes dated 3/4/02 and Judiciary minutes                                                                    
dated 4/10/02.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SCR 32 - No previous Senate committee action to record.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HB 411 - No previous Senate committee action to record.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Annette Kreitzer                                                                                                            
Staff to Senator Leman                                                                                                          
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on the proposed amendment to SB 91                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sharon Clark                                                                                                                
Staff to Representative Fate                                                                                                    
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified for the sponsor of HB 411                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Sharon Holt                                                                                                                 
Sunshine Community Health Center                                                                                                
Talkeetna, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports HB 411                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jim Wojciehowski                                                                                                            
Alaska Academy of Physician Assistants                                                                                          
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports HB 411                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Mary Marshburn                                                                                                              
Division of Motor Vehicles                                                                                                      
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
PO Box 110200                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0200                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports HB 411                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Ed Hall                                                                                                                     
Alaska Academy of Physician Assistants                                                                                          
13601 Windward Circle                                                                                                           
Anchorage, AK  99516                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports HB 411                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 02-7, SIDE A                                                                                                             
Number 001                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN RANDY PHILLIPS called the  Senate Rules Committee meeting                                                            
to order  at 10:34 a.m.   Senators  Cowdery, Halford  and Phillips                                                              
were present.  The committee took up its agenda.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COWDERY moved  to calendar  SB  4-MUNICIPAL PROPERTY  TAX                                                          
EXEMPTION  with its accompanying  fiscal  notes at the  Chairman's                                                          
discretion.  There being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COWDERY  moved  to  calendar   SB  91-ABORTION:  INFORMED                                                          
CONSENT; INFORMATION at the Chairman's discretion.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  announced that an  amendment to SB 91  has been                                                              
proposed.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD  moved to adopt the proposed  amendment (Amendment                                                              
1), which reads as follows:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
      Page 1, line 7, after the word "prepare," insert "and                                                                     
     annually update"                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ANNETTE KREITZER,  aide to  Senator  Leman, informed  members                                                              
that this  issue was  raised in the  Senate Finance Committee  but                                                              
the  timing was  such  that the  amendment  could  not be  drafted                                                              
before  the bill moved  on. The  Department of  Health and  Social                                                              
Services concluded,  after looking at  subsections (2) and  (3) on                                                              
page  2, that  it  would be  required  to prepare  an  information                                                              
packet more  than annually.  The amendment  will clarify  that the                                                              
department is expected to do an annual update.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  announced that  with no objection  to Amendment                                                              
1,  it  would  be  incorporated  into  a  Senate  Rules  Committee                                                              
substitute.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD   moved  to  calendar   CSSB  91(RLS)   with  its                                                              
accompanying  fiscal note  at the  Chairman's discretion.  Senator                                                              
Halford pointed out the fiscal note  may change as a result of the                                                              
amendment  and requested  the Chairman request  an updated  fiscal                                                              
note.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS  stated that if the fiscal note  amount changes,                                                              
the committee will bring it up the following day.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
There  being no  objection to  calendaring CSSB  91(RLS) with  its                                                              
updated fiscal note, the motion carried.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COWDERY moved  to calendar  SB  223-PRISONERS:PAROLE/GOOD                                                          
TIME  with  its   accompanying  fiscal  note  at   the  Chairman's                                                          
discretion.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS announced that SB 223                                                              
will be scheduled at a later date.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS   announced  that   SB  226-HIGHWAY   DESIGN  &                                                          
CONSTRUCTION will  be held in committee  as it has not  received a                                                          
fiscal note yet.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD  moved to calendar SB 295-LICENSING:DISCLOSURE  OF                                                          
MINORS RECORDS  with its  accompanying fiscal  note and  asked for                                                          
unanimous consent.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD moved  to calendar  SB  302-DEFINITION OF  MENTAL                                                          
HEALTH PROFESSIONAL  with its zero  fiscal note at  the Chairman's                                                          
discretion.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD moved  to calendar SCR  32-SUSPEND UNIFORM  RULES                                                          
FOR HB 390 at the Chairman's discretion.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a three-minute recess.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  PHILLIPS  announced  that  the committee  would  hold  a                                                              
substantive hearing on HB 411-PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGH FATE,  sponsor  of HB  411, informed  members                                                              
that  he  introduced  the  measure at  the  request  of  physician                                                              
assistants.  When  the  health  provider  statutes  were  enacted,                                                              
physician assistants  were simply admitted  at that time  but they                                                              
were not  given the same standards  as other health  providers. HB
411  will enable  physician assistants  to do  several things.  As                                                              
providers they  will be  allowed to  authorize license  plates for                                                              
the disabled.  They will be put  under the insurance  programs for                                                              
malpractice  insurance  and be  able  to receive  funds  disbursed                                                              
under  health   insurance  programs.  They  will   have  the  same                                                              
opportunities  regarding  insurability.  He  pointed out  that  in                                                              
House committee hearings,  he was asked if HB 411  will impact the                                                              
general  fund. It will  not. The  uniform code  of schedules  pays                                                              
physician  assistants  about 85  percent  of  the amount  paid  by                                                              
Medicaid or  Medicare to a physician.  HB 411 will have  no impact                                                              
on that amount.  He noted that physicians' assistants  now provide                                                              
health care in many  areas in rural Alaska yet they  must still be                                                              
under the supervision  of a physician. HB 411  will merely provide                                                              
parity for physician assistants with other health providers.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN   PHILLIPS   acknowledged   the   presence   of   Senator                                                              
Therriault. He then took teleconference testimony.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. SHARON  HOLT, chief fiscal  officer of the  Sunshine Community                                                              
Health Center, Talkeetna, stated  wholehearted support for HB 411.                                                              
She  said that  the  center has  four physician  assistants  whose                                                              
services are  critical to  the communities  served by the  center.                                                              
Because  the current  state  statute  does not  include  physician                                                              
assistants  in  the list  of  health  care providers,  the  center                                                              
periodically  has  its billings  for  medical services  denied  by                                                              
third  party payers.  That  represents  a significant  barrier  to                                                              
health care for individuals with  health insurance, as well as the                                                              
clinic's ability to maximize potential  revenues, particularly for                                                              
small,  rural health  clinics. She  urged members'  support of  HB
411.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JIM  WOJCIEHOWSKI,   President  of  the  Alaska   Academy  of                                                              
Physician Assistants, urged members  to expedite the passage of HB
411. He noted  that Representative Fate's overview  was excellent:                                                              
HB 411 corrects  an oversight in the original  statute. He pointed                                                              
out that physician assistants were  relatively new to the state 20                                                              
years ago but are now the sole providers in many rural areas.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARY  MARSHBURN, Director of  the Division of  Motor Vehicles,                                                              
commented that Section 3 of the bill  adds physician assistants to                                                              
the list  of health care providers  who can sign  disabled parking                                                              
permits. She believes that is a good addition to the bill.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ED HALL,  member  of  the Academy  of  Physician  Assistants,                                                              
stated  support for  HB 411  and its  companion bill,  SB 265.  He                                                              
believes  the   measure  will   diminish  patient  barriers   with                                                              
insurance.  He encouraged members' support.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HALFORD  moved to  calendar HB  411 with its  accompanying                                                              
fiscal  notes  at  the  Chairman's   discretion.  There  being  no                                                              
objection, the motion carried.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS adjourned the meeting at 10:54 a.m.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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